Cause Outlined, Neighbors React in House Explosion Incident
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The stench of gas lingered in the air as traffic officials scrambled to get people out of the area around 7th Street and Orchard Avenue after an incident officials say never should have occurred.
"There was a directional bore going into place," explained Damon Gant with Grand Valley Traffic Control. "That's when you put a line in without digging it. You drill through and then pull the line back through. There was an unmarked gas line and it was clipped."
City officials say gas got into the sewer system and spread, creating a nightmare for the quiet, residential neighborhood.
"It was awful ... it was an awful sight," recalled Hillary Vice, an eye-witness.
"It sounded like there was a car crash right in our yard. It rattled all the windows," said David Powell, a neighbor the next block over.
Other neighbors closer to the site recalled the terrifying moments after the gas leak sparked and ripped into a Grand Junction home Tuesday afternoon.
"I was screaming for my friends but they weren't coming out," said Conor Hatch.
He and Demi Belomer were just steps away from walking into the house when booming noises turned into flames before their eyes.
"I saw the garage explode. Then I saw the whole house explode and fall down," added Hatch.
"There were flames, I'd say, 50 feet in the air," said Powell.
"I've never run so fast before in my life to get to where it happened to see if people were okay," recalled Vice.
The three college students inside survived, but were rushed to the hospital with injuries varying from moderate to severe.
"They had burns. One guy’s face was super pale and had some bleeding inside his mouth," described Vice.
Two neighboring homes were also burned as flames spread from the explosion; one was completely destroyed.
As emergency responders worked to contain the damage, friends and neighbors looked on helplessly, hoping the silent predator wouldn’t strike again.
"I'm scared. I'm very scared," said Vice.