Gas Leaks Cause Dallas Home Explosions
On February 21, a house fire broke out in a home on the 3500 block of Durango Drive in Dallas, burning one of the family members who lived there. A day later, a second house fire broke out in a home on that same block; one person was taken to the hospital as a result. The following day, on February 23, a home on the 3500 block of Espanola Drive exploded, killing 12-year-old Linda Rogers. Homeowners in the area were evacuated as a precaution, and later Atmos Energy chose to shut off gas service for about 2,800 homes in that area while they worked to fix the leaking pipes.
We've Seen This Before
We’re angered to hear about the home gas explosions happening in Dallas, and especially Atmos’ response. They’ve tried to say that the gas leaks were “unprecedented” because of the recent rain and shifting soils, but of course that’s ridiculous. We have rain like this in DFW at least once a year. Besides, Atmos knows that their pipes are old and leaking. This was just like the issue that caused an explosion in one of our client’s home a couple of years back (pictured); gas leaked from a broken pipe in her neighborhood, through the soil and into her bathroom. When an innocent child flipped the light switch, the house exploded.
In order for Atmos to be held responsible, we needed to show that their negligence caused the gas leak, and that gas leak caused the fire. We examined the gas main outside the home, which was originally installed in the early 1970s, and worked with experts to find the cause of the leak. We hired specialists to drill into the house's foundation in order to show how the natural gas migrated from a broken pipe next to the street to under the home. The experts explained how natural gas - which normally smells like rotten eggs - can lose its odor when it travels through soil.
With all of these things combined, we built a case to show that Atmos could have prevented this gas explosion. We showed that Atmos was negligent then, and we have no doubt that they're negligent now. We can only hope that Atmos steps up and takes responsibility for the recent Dallas gas leaks and all the suffering they've caused these families.