GA – CARROLLTON, Citizen Online An explosion and fire demolished a residence Tuesday, killing a woman who lived in the house and a repairman who had been trying to fix a gas leak, authorities said.
The victims were identified as Martha Bilbo, who lived in the house, and Jarrod Harris of Carrollton, employed by the company called to make the repairs after the gas leak was detected, authorities said. No ages were available.
Harris, who worked for Powers Heating and Cooling, was working in the crawl space of the home, state Insurance and Fire Commissioner John Oxendine said.
Bilbos husband, Ray, was outside when the explosion occurred. Ray Bilbo was knocked down by the blast but did not suffer serious injuries, said Capt. Michael Mansour of the Carrollton Fire Department.
Oxendine said the fire department received a call from the Bilbos Monday about a gas leak.
With the assistance of a crew from Atlanta Gas Light Co., the gas was cut off Monday and the homeowners were told two floor heaters and a space heater would have to be repaired. The Bilbos called Powers Heating and Cooling Tuesday.
As of now every pipe we have found appears to be in the off position, said Oxendine in a telephone interview from the scene. We had a tragedy and were trying to find out exactly how the gas went off.
The two-story structure was demolished, and the blast also damaged another home, which had debris from the explosion on its roof. The other home was burned some but is structurally sound, Mansour said. Atlanta Gas Light spokesman Nick Gold said the crew happened to be in the area Monday when a member of the Carrollton Fire Department asked for assistance at the Bilbos home.
Upon entering the home, we agreed with the fire department that the gas needed to be disconnected and checked further by the contractor, Gold said. Thats on the homeowners side of the gas line. Oxendine said his office received the call about the explosion at 1:18 p.m. Witnesses said the explosion was heard and felt blocks away.