Stone, KY – By Leigh Ann Wells – No one was seriously injured in an early morning gas explosion, but the incident led to the evacuation of everyone who lives on Varney Street.
Pike County Emergency Services (EMS) Director Doug Tackett, along with representatives from several local gas companies and members of the Upper Pond Creek Volunteer Fire Department (UPCVFD) were on the scene most of the day Wednesday looking for the source of the leak, which caused an explosion underneath the home of Dennis and Angela Wolford at the main end of the street.
Louis Carson, UPCVFD chief, said firefighters got the tone at 9:04 a.m. Angela Wolford and her son, Matthew, were home when the explosion occurred. Though Angela Wolford reported her knee hurting, no major injuries were reported.
As of press time, Tackett said the source of the gas leak had not been found. Representatives from Columbia Gas and Kinzer Drilling as well as other local gas companies were on the scene assisting in the search.
Tackett said authorities believe an old farm tap may have played a role in the explosion. He said that it appears pockets of gas built up underneath the Wolford home and when the heating and cooling unit kicked on, it ignited the gas.
Tackett said that seven residents of Varney Street were home when the explosion occurred. All of those people, including Angela and Matthew Wolford, were evacuated to the Belfry Senior Citizens Center. He said that as residents of the area began arriving home from work Wednesday, they would be redirected to the center. Tackett added that no one would be allowed back in the area until it had been determined safe by the state fire marshall’s hazardous materials specialist, who was en route to the scene.
Tackett said monitors had found build-ups of gas in several areas around the scene throughout the day. He explained that the pockets dissipated quickly, but continued to materialize.
We’re still trying to get it all figured out, Tackett said.
Much of the one-story structure’s cinder block foundation had been destroyed. Firefighters said they removed the windows from the house for ventilation and Tackett said cracked walls and other damage was prevalent inside.
It’s got a lot of structural damage, I’m sure, Tackett said.