Utah House Explosion
Explosion Destroys Saratoga Springs Home
February 6th, 2007 @ 7:00pm
(KSL News) The fire just north of Saratoga Springs at Sunrise Meadows subdivision was caused by an explosion from a gas leak. The property is located southwest of Redwood Road and Highway 73.
A woman who was a resident of the home and an employee from the Questar Gas Company are still unaccounted for. The two missing people were down in the basement when the explosion went off around 4:15 this evening. Two others were able to escape the fire.
A backhoe has been brought in to sift through the destruction. It is still too hot to send in search and rescue personnel.
Crews thought they had fixed the gas leak, but that was not the case, as something happened that caused the explosion.
Crews have been at the scene for an hour. Saratoga and Lehi Fire Departments have responded to the explosion.
Debris from the fire has blown all over the area, hitting some of the homes adjacent to the house that is burning right now.
Firefighters appear to have the fire under control. Medical helicopters have been sent to the scene, just south of Camp Williams.
We will continue to update this story as we get more details.
Explosion Destroys Saratoga Springs Home
February 6th, 2007 @ 10:00pm
KSL Team Coverage
"Based on the information we have, it seems to be the two people we were looking for."
Crews in Saratoga Springs tonight have found the bodies of two people caught inside a house when it exploded.
There is clearly a sense of shock and sadness in this new neighborhood. Firefighters are still looking for the two victims, trying to go through all of the smoke and debris. It is tragedy that is weighing on two families tonight.
It was a brand new home turned to rubble from an explosion believed to have been caused by a natural gas leak.
Kevin Barningham, Witness: "I hear a boom and jumped about a foot and I turned around and that house was just gone."
Other construction workers working on homes under construction in the neighborhood ran to help.
Tyler Miller, Witness: "We were all yelling because we saw the husband and we ran around the house trying to get in, and there was just no way."
The victim's husband and young child were outside when the home exploded. His wife and the Questar employee were believed to have been in the basement, after the gas company had come to fix a gas leak outside their home.
Sgt. Spencer Cannon, Utah County Sheriff's Office: "It was in front of their home. One of the Questar guys described it to me as gas bubbling up through the mud. They got the gas shut off and taken care of before they went back into the home."
What happened next and what triggered the blast is now being investigated, although it seems clear natural gas had settled into the basement.
When firefighters arrived they had to fight huge flames and there was little that could be done to rescue the victims. Throughout the evening, fire crews worked to clear out all of the debris, to recover for the victims.
For those who saw what happened, there is still a sense of shock.
Tyler Miller, Witness: "I've never seen anything like it, hopefully will never see anything like it again."
The victims are identified right now as a 24-year-old woman who lived in the home with her husband and young daughter; and the Questar employee was 48-years-old.
What about those who were on the ground and saw the explosion? Neighbors tonight are describing what it felt like. One young victim was taken to Primary Children's Medical Center. The couple's little girl, we're told she's two-years-old, was injured, although not seriously. But she was taken there to be fully checked out.
Neighbors felt scared and confused as to what happened, and then the worst emotion of all -- helplessness.
So many things were falling into place: a young couple with a baby girl and a beautiful new house.
Corri Uvejzovic: "They had only been in the house two weeks."
Only two weeks, when something went wrong with the gas line.
Corri Uvejzovic: "The family was outside. Huge flames way above the house. My kids were yelling the house is on fire. It was just rubble by the time we got up there and it was still smoking and the fire trucks were there."
But it was not just a fire and that was obvious when the smoke cleared, revealing only the garage structure and nothing else.
Justin Jensen: "I was just loading boxes up for my mom and all of a sudden we just heard a huge boom."
The force behind that sound is still difficult to comprehend.
Justin Jensen: "The flying sofa ended up on that roof over there. I was amazed when I saw stuff got clear over there."
Bobby Greenwood was one of the first to see what happened.
Bobby Greenwood: "Lots of smoke, lots of fire, a big loud boom. I just ran up here got out of my car as quickly as I could."
At that moment, in all the confusion, she found a small way to help.
Bobby Greenwood: "The fire trucks and ambulances were all coming. When I got here the baby and husband were out I took the baby for a while. She's okay."
The Red Cross was also called to help anybody traumatized after the explosion.
How very sad :(
Hard call for the responders. :( :( My thoughts are with the fire department members involved.