Fires and explosions make headlines across the United States daily, if not hourly. They’re simply – and unfortunately – unavoidable.
Set a Google alert for the term “home explosion,” and your email inbox will be overcome with updates.
Here are some recent news items about home explosions from around the country:
Sullivan man killed in home explosion
From Associated Press, Feb. 2: A 20-year-old Sullivan man has died after an explosion leveled a home in central Illinois.
The (Decatur) Herald & Review reported that the explosion occurred just before 10 p.m. Friday near Sullivan. Fire Chief Mike Piper said the home was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, and it was clear “there had been a very large explosion.”
Authorities say they suspect the cause may have been propane.
Firefighters rescued a woman from the structure shortly after they arrived. A short time later, they recovered the body of Jared L. Schrock, who lived in the home with his family. He was pronounced dead at the scene early Saturday.
The home’s residents are Amish.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating.
From WXYZ-TV, Feb. 3: One person was injured Saturday night in a home explosion in Pontiac, Michigan. The home was located on Irwin Avenue, near South and Martin Luther King boulevards.
The home was completely destroyed. WXYZ’s 7 Action News was told the victim is a man in his 50s. He was rushed to the hospital, but his condition is unknown.
Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the explosion. A natural gas leak may be the blame, but that is unconfirmed at this time.
Consumers Energy responded in a statement regarding the explosion:
“Consumers Energy is aware of an apparent single-family home explosion on Irwin Street in Pontiac around 11:30 p.m. last night. One person occupying the home was injured and taken to the hospital to be treated. Our crews are on site actively investigating what occurred, working with public safety officials and the Michigan Public Service Commission. Our thoughts go out to those who have been affected by the incident. Our top priority right now is to ensure the safety of those in the area.”
From Los Angeles Times, Feb. 1: Southern California Gas Co., California’s biggest natural-gas utility, was fined $3.3 million on Friday.
State regulators accused the SoCalGas of putting its financial bottom line ahead of public safety by refusing to fully investigate a Jan. 20, 2017, home explosion in Ontario. One person was injured in the explosion.
The California Public Utilities Commission said that when trying to determine the cause of the home explosion, SoCalGas failed to test a section of pipeline that was damaged. After initially agreeing to examine the pipeline, SoCalGas told commission staff last month that it was canceling the test until a lawsuit stemming from the explosion is resolved, the state agency said.
In a citation notice, commission staff said the gas company’s decision to cancel the test was “irresponsible to the public safety and unacceptable” and “places fear of civil damages ahead of public safety.”
“Such actions are unbecoming of the largest [natural gas] distribution operator in the country,” the agency wrote.
Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed in fires and explosions. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: