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    Default Pleasant Grove House Explodes

    Furnace likely at fault in P.G. house explosion

    On Friday morning, A worker walks by the rubble that remains after a house at approximately 400 South and 100 East in Pleasant Grove after exploded Thursday night. Picture taken on Friday, Feb.26, 2010. PATRICK SMITH/Daily Herald .
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    1mi©2010 Yahoo! Inc.PLEASANT GROVE -- Fire investigators think the furnace in an 80-year-old house ignited natural gas coming from a small leak on Thursday night, completely blowing the house up and damaging surrounding buildings. Pleasant Grove Fire Marshal Steven Brande said the investigation on the house, at about 385 South and 100 East, showed the explosion came from the furnace area, although he cannot piece together how exactly it happened. There was a slight leak, he said, although the explosion blew the natural gas meter and caused a much larger leak.

    "In order to have an explosion you've got to have a leak," he said. "We just don't know where the leak was."

    The house blew up at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday; no one was inside, and neighbors aren't sure that anyone even lived there. Firefighters, police officers and Questar officials were on scene until about midnight, making sure the gas was shut off, evacuating the area and going through debris to ensure no one was inside. Then Brande and two investigators from the state fire marshal's office, as well as Questar employees, were back at the scene by about 8 a.m. Friday to determine what happened.

    Pleasant Grove police Capt. Michael Smith said the police also are investigating to make sure no criminal activity was involved in the explosion. He said the house had been vacant for several months and the owner was in the process of remodeling the house.

    The pile of rubble that used to be the house is across the street from the Purple Turtle and is right off State Street, so it is a well-traveled area, Brande said. In addition to the half a dozen Questar and emergency vehicles, many cars drove by Friday to check out the damage and gawk at the debris that had lodged in the tree above. Even a pair of LDS missionaries walked by.

    "It doesn't help when people stop to take pictures," Brande said.

    Professional Heating and Air Conditioning is directly across the street had the most damage of surrounding buildings. The front windows were completely shattered, and side windows had been knocked out of the building. On Friday, the front offices still had glass shards on the floor and some damage to the roof from the blast's concussion.

    Professional Heating president Jeff Lindstrom said he found out about the explosion soon after it happened and knew the building was damaged, but was not able to get to the site until 10 p.m. Thursday. He and other staff members cleaned up what they could and put metal sheets over the gaping, jagged-edged holes that used to be inviting front windows.

    "It knocked my daughter's moose head on the floor," he said, gesturing to the several-feet-high trophy that was now looking up instead of down at people.
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