Gas leak cause behind deadly house explosion

Neighbors say Daniel Malczynski was 'nice man' who lived in Royal Oak neighborhood for decades; Consumers Energy continues investigation

By Will Jones - Reporter

ROYAL OAK, Mich. - Georgeanna Kralik will live out of her suitcase for the next month after her Royal Oak home of 17 years was damaged Wednesday when her neighbor's home exploded.

"I heard from my insurance company they are going to put me up for a month," she said.

Kralik's neighbor, 58-year-old Daniel Malczynski, was killed in the blast at his home on Cooper Avenue. The home was leveled by the explosion.

"I brought him cookies for Christmas. He was just a lovely man, very nice. He had been in the neighborhood 30 or 4o years," Kralik said.

Gas line leak caused Royal Oak explosion

The avenue remained blocked off late Thursday afternoon as investigators tried to figure out what sparked the massive explosion that damaged several homes and businesses in the area. It is believed a leaking gas line going into the home did cause the explosion.

Read more: Crews find gas main rupture near Royal Oak house explosion

During their investigation, Consumers Energy crews found another gas leak just a block away.

"We want to work as quick as possible, but we want to make sure everything is safe and secure before we let people go back in," said Debra Dodd, of Consumers Energy.

Dodd says crews were replacing gas mains on the street shortly before the explosion. She doesn't know if that was the cause.

"People always want immediate answers, but unfortunately with things like this it does take months to figure out what's going on," she said.

Photo courtesy Jim Charbonneau

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