DTE offers safety tips after home explosion on Detroit’s west side

Neighbors said they smelled gas days leading up to the explosion

DETROITDTE is offering safety tips after a home exploded Monday as clean-up continues on Detroit’s west side.

Debris remains scattered about at Sussex and Florence streets following the home explosion Monday (Oct. 2) afternoon. But city crews have made progress clearing some of the debris.

“This is one of the worst explosions that we’ve seen,” said BSEED Director Dave Bell. “I have never seen an explosion where debris was shot across the street and over the house across the street.”

Those who live in surrounding homes that were damaged are trying to figure out what to do.

“I see a crack in my living room, and all the windows in the front were blown out,” said neighbor Mary Graham.

Neighbors said they had smelled gas days leading up to the explosion and contacted DTE.

The Detroit Fire Department reviewed their call log for the past 30 days, and city officials said there were no 911 calls regarding suspected gas leaks in this neighborhood.

DTE blamed the incident on at least one open fuel line on resident-owned equipment inside the home.

The house where the explosion occurred was unoccupied and being renovated, neighbors said.

So what can you do to prevent something like this from happening at your home?

DTE told Local 4 that a professional should install all natural gas appliances, and connections should be checked regularly for safety.

If you smell or suspect a gas leak, customers should leave the area, call 911, then your natural gas provider.

Also, DTE said customers should make sure their natural gas meters are free of any debris, including snow, so they’re always accessible for periodic safety inspections and emergency situations.

Lisa Thornton, who lives across the street from the house that exploded, is working to get her home repaired.

“I just thank God that none of the neighbors seriously got hurt,” said Thornton.

About the Author:

Will Jones rejoined the Local 4 News team in February 2023 as a weekend anchor and reporter. He previously worked as a general assignment reporter for the station from 2012 to 2015.