Last week there was a massive natural gas explosion in Wisconsin that
the reporters said actually "flipped" the house. The house was
completely destoroyed, resident killed, and several neighboring houses
were destroyed. Debris was found up to 13 blocks away. The fire
dept. said it's the worst they have ever seen.
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
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
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
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.