Chattaroy,WV – State Fire Marshal Sterling Lewis says his investigative team is confident the explosion that destroyed or damaged nearly a dozen houses in the Chattaroy community of Mingo County last week was the result of a natural gas ignition.
“That was a very destructive explosion,” Lewis tells MetroNews. There had to be a lot of buildup in that structure to damage as far away other structures as it did.”
Investigators say they have combed the blast scene for any sign of a propane tank, but can find no tank nor any plumbing that would indicate the presence of a tank.There is plumbing into the home for natural gas service.
Lewis and his team continue to look into whether there was a leak in those pipes or another source causing the gas to escape.He says they are also unsure what ignited the gas.
“You could have gotten an electrical arc, there’s just multiple points of ignition and at this point the marshals have not been able to rule out or determine anything,” said Lewis.
The blast happened at 2:00 in the morning, a time when most in the neighborhood were sleeping, or at least winding down for the day.The home that exploded was unoccupied and, miraculously, nobody was killed or even hurt.
“There are miracles that happen in this world and that was one,” said Lewis.