Cause Of Massive House Explosion Unknown

By: Jennifer Bocchieri Email
By: Jennifer Bocchieri Email

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There is so much damage from the Friday house explosion on the 400 block of Baehr that fire investigators say they may never know what cause it to blow up.

After the explosion shook the neighborhood and crews put out the fire, investigators immediately went to work.

"One thing we were able to tell is we did have an explosion apparently caused by natural gas but it was natural gas from within the home," said Wichita Fire Captain Stuart Bevis.

Because there is so much damage to the home, more than $75,000 worth, investigators can't tell where the leak might have come from or what could have ignited the gas. They have listed the cause as undetermined and it could stay that way unless new information becomes available.

"Hopefully maybe some other things will come out during the insurance investigation. They have some resources available that we do not," said Bevis.

For homeowner James Chapman the whole ordeal is frustrating. Since Friday afternoon he's been staying with friends but checking in on his house everyday.

"It just upsets me everytime I come back here and look at it," said Chapman.

He's been spending most of his time on the phone trying to figure out everything with his insurance company. Because the house is a total loss an out-of-town agent has to come in to investigate. He's been told that could take awhile and until he gets some answers from them he's in limbo not knowing whether to rebuild here or find another place.

"Yeah. Right now that's exactly what it is. I'm like okay I said I'd like to have some definate plans so I can focus on something and move forward. But right now I'm waiting on them," said Chapman.

Luckily, insurance is taking care of all Chapman's finances until he decides just how to move on.


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