The family fled and no one was hurt in the explosion.
O’Fallon, Missouri – A house in O’Fallon, Missouri, exploded on Tuesday.
The family had escaped before the blast occurred this morning in Millers Courthouse. They said they smelled gas and ran out of the house.
No one was injured in the explosion.
A picture of the house shows a basically bare foundation where the walls and roof of the house once stood. The house is a complete loss. The explosion destroyed the house and a fire destroyed what was left of the building.
The explosion occurred after a contractor was digging across the street and hit a Spire gas line. Spire and the fire department have been alerted to the leak, a Spire spokesperson told 5 On Your Side.
The explosion damaged neighboring houses. Smoke was seen for miles from home. Traffic into the neighborhood is restricted while crews clean up.
The city of O’Fallon said this is the second time a company called Gateway Fiber has hit a gas line in the past two weeks. Now the city is suspending all company work permits.
“Before resuming any work, the company will be required to provide documentation explaining what happened in these incidents and what changes are being made to ensure the safety of our residents,” city leaders said in a Facebook post.
Tuesday, a representative from Gateway Fiber said the company is cooperating with authorities investigating.
Heath Cielenrick, President of Gateway Fiber, made the following statement:
“At Gateway Fiber, nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of the communities we serve, our customers and our employees. As a local business committed to improving our neighborhoods, we share the concern about yesterday’s incident in Ovalon, Missouri.
An initial evaluation found that while digging for a new underground fiber line in an apartment house, a subcontractor working on one of our job sites inadvertently hit a natural gas line. The subcontractor immediately stopped work and contacted Spire Energy, who quickly arrived and vacated the house. While the Spire was trying to repair the natural gas line, an explosion occurred that affected the entire house and at least one nearby building. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
The subcontractor who performed this work has been terminated.
We actively cooperate with local investigative authorities and focus on how we can help affected families and the community. We look forward to the results of this investigation.”
A GoFundMe page was started to help families who live at home.
What do you do if you smell gas?
Spire says to take these steps if you smell natural gas.
- Immediately leave the building and head to a place where the smell of gas cannot be detected. Until you are at a safe distance, avoid smoking, use electronic devices such as garage door openers or alarm systems, and do not turn any lights on or off. Most importantly, stay away from the scent area and keep others away as well.
- Once you are in a safe place, call Spire’s 24/7 emergency line immediately or call 911. In eastern Missouri, the number is 800-887-4173. In western Missouri, the number is 800-582-1234.
- If you don’t own the office or residence, it’s a good idea to notify your landlord or manager in case repairs are needed inside.
- Stay out of the area until a gas safety professional (Spire employee, police, firefighter, or other first responder at the scene) tells you.
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