I have friends who live near the place where this explosion occurred, who told me about it, so I looked up the media coverage on the web. Looking at the coverage and videos, is amazing.
I am posting this because I dont understand what they are saying (in the article below).
I'm referring to this part. "(Meter readings show a larger than usual amount of gas flowing through Gaulke's pipes between May 11 and June 2. In a slow leak, gas would have migrated to other parts of the house, including the attic. And when it ignited, it would have blown off the roof and walls but left the floor intact.)"
The explosion was June 3. If the meter readings were high during those approx. 3 weeks, where would it have gone? The reports said that there was no leak underground before the meter. Obviously if the meter showed the high usage, the leak was AFTER the meter. The meters are right on the outside of the house and the pipes enter the basement at that place.
If there was gas leaking into the basement, someone would have noticed it after 3 weeks. (as stated in the article). Since no one noticed it, it was obviously not entering the house before the explosion. This makes me question where the gas was going....... I sure the heck cant understand this. And you'd think that the fire investigators surely could figure it out. I have been trying to rationalize this, and it makes no sense.....
Anyone have any ideas?
---------------- The article below -----------------
Exact source of Tosa leak elusive Fire chief says evidence points to rapid buildup of gas in basement
June 7, 2007
Wauwatosa - Investigators believe a sudden buildup of natural gas in the basement of a home caused the deadly explosion that killed an elderly woman and destroyed three houses in Wauwatosa last week.
But they might never be able to pinpoint the exact source of the leak, Wauwatosa Fire Chief Dean Redman said Thursday.
According to Redman, investigators found 10 places inside the home where gas piping had split apart. But it could not be determined, he said, whether those fractures were pre-existing or caused by the blast.
Redman said the home's insurer might do additional tests in an effort to determine that.
"But we may never know the exact point at which the gas escaped into the house," he said.
Lorraine Gaulke, 80, died June 2 when the explosion ripped apart her home in the 10900 block of W. Wisconsin Ave. shortly after 11 a.m. At least two adjacent homes also were destroyed, and as many as 20 others were damaged in the blast that sent debris flying as far as 13 blocks away.
A medical examiner's report says Gaulke died of "mechanical asphyxia," meaning she could not breathe because of the weight of debris on her.
The Wauwatosa Fire Department and state fire marshal are completing their reports. But Redman said all evidence - from meter readings to the way Gaulke's house came down - points to a sudden surge of gas pooling in the basement and being ignited by a pilot light or some other source there.
Among the evidence, according to Redman:
*Gaulke had only three gas appliances - a furnace, dryer and water heater - all in the basement.
*Meter readings show a larger than usual amount of gas flowing through Gaulke's pipes between May 11 and June 2. In a slow leak, gas would have migrated to other parts of the house, including the attic. And when it ignited, it would have blown off the roof and walls but left the floor intact.
*The explosion pushed the house off its foundation and flipped the first floor.
Both Redman and We Energies said there was no evidence to suggest a leak outside the home.
Utility spokesman Barry McNulty said the company found no leaks in its pipes or equipment around the home and no problems in a door-to-door canvass of homes in the area after the blast.
McNulty said the gas meter at Gaulke's home was replaced in March. But he and Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Hevey, who is heading the investigation, said there is no evidence to suggest that was a factor in the explosion.
We Energies received no reports of a smell indicating a gas leak from the home over the last month, and two reports of such an odor in the area since May 1 were unrelated, he said.
As standard procedure, McNulty said, We Energies is mandated by the state Public Service Commission to recheck the area to ensure that the force of the blast did not compromise any equipment.
"And we'll be doing that as soon as the fire marshal and fire chief give us the high sign," McNulty said.