South Weber, UT- A South Weber woman’s home was destroyed by a natural gas explosion Saturday, shortly after she left it to attend her 75th birthday party.
“I would have been in my house if they hadn’t hosted my birthday,” said Luana Fowers, whose children took her to a restaurant. “I feel lucky to be alive.”
No one was injured, but about 100 nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution.
Fowers had lived in the home 40 years and raised six sons there.
A man driving by noticed dust and debris coming from a hole in front of Fowers’ home around 6 p.m., according to Lt. Brad Wilcox with the Davis County Sheriff’s Office. Realizing it might be something serious, he was going to knock on Fowers’ door to warn her. Just as he approached, the home exploded, Wilcox said.
A 14-inch steel gas line had ruptured about 50 feet from Fowers’ home, according to Questar spokesman Steven Chapman. He suspected the gas entered her home through a sewer line, and her pilot light ignited it.
Questar officials and firefighters went door to door with methane detectors to make sure it was safe before residents were allowed to return to their homes.
“It’s a miracle that she’s alive and she wasn’t in it,” Brandt Fowers, her son, said. “I’d much rather lose all of what we lost. It could have been a lot worse. Somebody was watching out for us.”
The evacuees were sent to a local ward house of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where children watched videos and church members made popcorn, hot chocolate and brownies.
There may be a bit of good news. Fowers lived alone with her black poodle, Shadow. After the explosion, neighbors reported seeing the dog running around outside.