Huntsville Utilities, homeowner speak on weekend house explosion

WAFF 48's Claudia Peppenhorst reporting
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 7:11 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A house located on Brevard Boulevard in Madison County exploded on Saturday.

“Sometimes we have gut feelings as human beings, and I knew that wasn’t right,” said Amanda Garcia, owner of the home.

Garcia says that she knew something was not right when she began to smell gas in her home on Saturday. Her first instinct was to get her family out of the house. Not long after, the house exploded. Garcia was only 25 feet away from the home when it happened.

“I figured out that I have a quick thinking mind because I saw fire and thought ‘run’. I was happy that I knew my family was not there, so that was totally okay, so I just thought about running,” Garcia said.

A volunteer firefighter said on Saturday that an independent contractor struck a gas line just a few minutes before Garcia smelled gas, and the house blew up.

Joe Gehrdes with Huntsville Utilities says there is an ongoing investigation to uncover what caused the explosion.

“An incident like this is pretty rare. We’re thankful that no one was seriously hurt. The loss of property is unfortunate but again, thankfully no one was hurt or worse,” Gehrdes said. “So, the investigation will figure out what happened and how we can prevent things like this in the future.”

Garcia said her family has not been contacted by Huntsville Utilities or the private contractor. She and her family are currently living in their second home right next door. Garcia tells me that she believes everything happens for a reason and she is finding the good in her situation.

“We have a roof, which could have been a great concern. But we’re all together, we’re okay. We’ve got to find joy in the sadness,” Garcia said.

Gehrdes did not reveal who the contractor is. We also reached out to the State Fire Marshal for a comment on the investigation but have not heard back.

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