Update: Car Rolls Into Gas Meter, House Explodes

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

The pregnant mother who'd been living with her family in a home on Lansing's Center Street watches as it burns down Friday. Firefighters tell us she and her young daughter had run out of the home minutes before it exploded in fire and crumbled to the ground.

"The roof came off, the flames exploded out the side. When the roof came back down, it collapsed in the middle. That's when the wall was blown out," explains neighbor and eyewitness Johnathen Shaw-Reed.

Shaw-Reed saw it all happen. Just after 7:00 Friday morning, he and his neighbors were evacuating their homes after a car reportedly shifted itself into gear and rolled into the home's natural gas meter.

"I got my daughter out and got the other family members. Soon as I rounded the corner, you could hear 'shhhh...'" he says, imitating the gas leak. "Then it was just a big boom. The ground shook."

"It just blew up," echoes neighbor Dustin McLain. "A big old mushroom just came up."

"I felt the heat, I saw the blast. It looked like a war scene," says witness Brandon Smith.

Police and fire were already on scene because of the gas leak,so the response was immediate, but the damage had already been done. The house is a total loss, according to firefighters.

The family of three who live in the home declined to comment on camera, but did say everyone is doing just fine. Thankfully no one-- including neighbors-- was injured in the blast.

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  • by Jen Location: Old Town, Pearl St. on Oct 16, 2010 at 01:49 PM
    Before any emergency crews even arrived on the scene there was man by the name of Dan that rescued the family. He was on his way to work when he heard the rushing gas. From what I understand, he ran into the house and woke the mother and found the little girl and rushed them out of the house. If it wasn't for this man, who lives on Beaver St and didn't really know the people inside, the family would have been destroyed. The evacuation was also done by the neighbors not the fire department. The only people who actually left there homes or got out of the neighborhood were the two houses on either side and myself after my husband ran in and told me to take the kids out of the neighborhood until the gas was stopped. That was after the explosion. The fire department, city workers, and the gas company all were prompt in their response. Still, credit hasn't been given to the one who acted out of pure concern for a neighbor, saved everyone's lives, then just went to work as if it was nothing.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 15, 2010 at 02:41 PM
    Funny how the original reports were that someone backed into the house and meter not an unoccupied car.
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