Gas leak causes Houston house explosion, fire officials say; home lifted off foundation

Houston fire spread to nearby house, car

Monday, December 28, 2020
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CAUGHT ON VIDEO: A neighbor shot the moments after the explosion when the large flames billowed out, consuming the house.

HOUSTON -- A gas leak inside a Houston home caused a large fire which led to an explosion on Sunday morning, according to the Houston Fire Department.

It happened around 10 a.m.

Authorities said a person called CenterPoint to report the gas leak.

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About an hour later, they said the explosion occurred, lifting the house off its foundation into the air. The fire started afterward, leaving only a pile of the house's remains.

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HFD said the homeowner whose house caught on fire was able to get out before the explosion, and no other injuries were reported.

"It's an extremely fortunate scenario where no one was injured," said HFD assistant chief Mike Mire. "When you have an explosion, the pressure waves normally travel and are only blocked by the adjacent houses. It's amazing the destruction was limited to the one house."

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He also said the fire spread to an adjacent house and a car parked nearby. The explosion broke windows of nearby houses and caused other minor destruction.

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The couple who lost their home had lived in it for more than 50 years. Their family set up a GoFundMe to help cover costs of the damage.

Mire also said the couple has been in touch with the American Red Cross for assistance.

CenterPoint personnel were also able to come out to contain the leak. They said the leak occurred from a 2-inch pipe line, and they had to gradually work to turn it off.

"If you smell gas, get out," Mire said in case of future emergencies. "Do not turn on any light switches. Do not flick on any flashlights."