The Kansas Corporation Commission is now investigating the house explosion in the 700 block of Minnesota. The explosion happened last month and injured three people inside. Whenever someone is hurt because of potential natual gas incidents the KCC is required to investigate.
Soil samples have been sent for testing to help determine what caused the home to explode. Fire investigators say some type of gas was present around the home. The soil samples will help determine if the gas played a factor. Investigators also say a space heater inside the home may have been an ignition source for the blaze.
The three people inside the home when the explosion happened are still in the hospital. 2-year-old Kymani Reed and 21-year-old Mikayla Frierson are still in critical condition. 28-year-old Wilbert Reed has been upgraded to good condition.
There were no utilities to the house when the explosion happened, but the family was running an extension cord to a neighbors home.
Investigators say they did find a gas leak south of the home. But there wasn't a leak from the main line into the house. They say it is possible that there was some sort of gas leak outside and an electrical spark could have ignited the explosion. But they have yet to find the exact cause.
Funds have been set up to help the family. There are two at Emprise Bank. They are the “Willbert & Kymani Reed Victim Fund” and the “Mikayla Frierson Victim Funds”.
Donation's of clothing and personal items are being coordinated by Reverend Michael Tyson, Sr. of Whole Truth Tabernacle Church at 2932 E. 21st St. N., Wichita 67214. Rev. Tyson would like for anyone who wants to donate to call on his phone at 312-3486 and he will then let donors know where items can be dropped off. It is best to call as there may not always be someone at the church to receive drop-off donations.
Tuesday December 20, 2011
Three people, including a two year old child, are in critical condition after an explosion at their home in central Wichita.
It happened around two o'clock Tuesday morning in the 700 block N. Minnesota. Neighbors say a fire followed the explosion and quickly spread throughout the house.
"It started with just a little fire on the west side of the house," says Marcia Myers who lives on the other side of the block. She saw the house burn down from her window. "Just within seconds it was flaming out of control."
Investigators say the house had its electricity and gas shut off. But Captain Stewart Bevis says the family was running an extension cord from their house to the house next door. He says their next door neighbor was the mother of one of the two adults in the house.
"What they were using it for, I can't say at this point," he said.
It took crews about 45 minutes to knock the fire down. Investigators say they need special equipment to remove some of the debris to get a better look inside.
The family was able to get out of the house. Paramedics took them to the burn unit at St. Francis. They are currently in critical condition.
The fire caused about $60,000 in damage. Fire investigators are still trying to determine what caused the explosion and fire.