Atmos Energy Says System Did Not Play a Role in Tarrant County Home Explosion – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Five days after a home exploded in Westworth Village, Atmos Energy said there was “no evidence” to suggest its system was involved. The city said the investigation continues as to what caused the blast that left one man injured and damaged neighboring homes.
On Thursday, Dec. 1, neighbors in the 5600 block of Watters Place were rocked after the home at the end of the cul-de-sac blew up into pieces.
The city said the man inside the house at the time remains in the hospital and several families still can’t go home because of structural damage concerns.
In total, five homes were damaged and the city said one family has been able to go back so far. They’re expecting another tomorrow and said the others will take more time due to the damage.
“We’ve been displaced from the home since the incident on Thursday and bouncing around from family and friends’ houses,” said Katie Browning, a mother of three. “The Red Cross gave us some funds for hotels. We used that last night and potentially tonight.”
The home she leases is catty-corner to where the blast happened and was getting her kids ready for school when the explosion happened.
“The loudest, wildest thunder times 100 and I don’t even think that gives it justice,” said Browning as she described the sound.
She said several windows at her place broke out and the city placed a sign on the front door to notify that it’s not safe to be inside.
“We’re trying to get the properties back on so the tenants can get back in them,” said Craig Strain, a neighbor who also happens to own several homes on Watters Place.
Browning is one of his four tenants who are currently without a home.

“We’re trying to do all we can do,” said Strain who is trying to accommodate his tenants. “We’re going to bend over backwards as much as we can and prorate the rent and get them back in as fast as we can. We certainly put their safety first, but also their well-being of back in their homes, that’s what we want to do.”
Strain, who lives behind the house that blew up, also helped save the man who was inside.
“When I came through the fence and heard as much screaming as I heard, I expected to find people cut up real bad,” described Strain as he helped the man inside the house get out. “To see him standing there in one piece not bleeding, that was amazing.” 
The man inside the home was sent to Parkland Hospital by Care Flight for burns. The city said no one else was home and neighbors said his wife and children were not there.
Firefighters rescued a dog from the house. A firefighter was taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. A neighbor was also taken to the hospital for minor injuries.
Browning said for the last several days she has been in survival mode figuring out her living situation and home. She said she believes she’s feeling the effects of being close to the blast site and is getting checked out for a concussion.
“I didn’t hit my head directly because of the blast, but there could be brain injuries caused by being so close to an explosive shock wave. I’ve been disoriented, I’ve had a headache and I’m nauseous,” described Browning.
Meanwhile, the investigation continues as neighbors look for answers.
In a statement, Atmos Energy said it’s completed its own safety checks and investigation and, “confirmed that its system is operating as expected. We have found no evidence to suggest that our system was involved in the Dec. 1 incident that occurred on Watters Place in Westworth Village.”
The owner of the home, Danita Shelton, said the man and his family had only been tenants for less than a month. Shelton, who said her family had owned the home for decades, said she doesn’t have insurance on the house.
As for the neighbors who were impacted, Strain said some of his tenants did not have renters insurance and said he highly recommends it, in the event something like this happens.

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