November 28, 2014

Mostly cloudy

Officials say natural gas to blame for Columbia Avenue explosion

Firefighters work the scene of a home explosion on Columbia Avenue in Elyria.

Fire investigators say natural gas caused a December home explosion in Elyria. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

An unintended natural gas explosion is to blame for the Dec. 20 destruction of a Columbia Avenue house, Elyria Fire Marshal Carl Keith said.

Fire officials are seeking the point of origin and what triggered the explosion, Keith said via email.

“At this point we believe all interested parties (insurance companies representing residents who have incurred a loss) have been accounted for,” he said in an email response.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 9:45 p.m. after the explosion, which was felt as far as Sheffield, Grafton and North Ridgeville, sent shock waves through the city. The explosion caused severe damage to 116 Columbia Ave., as well as neighboring homes.

No one was home at 116 Columbia, which neighbors said was for sale.

Keith said the Elyria Fire Department is awaiting an examination of natural gas piping and components in and around 116 Columbia. That will take a month or so to complete, he said.

Since the explosion, two families — the Mickolick and Page families — were forced to relocate after severe structural damage to their homes. The homes, on each side of 116 Columbia Ave., have since been demolished.

Columbia Gas spokesman Ray Frank said the energy company is cooperating in the investigation.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.

  • Bonnie Pickett

    I’m glad they found the reason for the fire. When you have a house for sale it always causes people to think it was the homeowners. So happy that was not the case and there was no death or injury.

    • John Davidson

      Could have been that the homeowner loosened a joint in the gas line and let the house fill with gas. Just because there was a leak it doesn’t mean that it was not intentional.

    • Corinne Jaenke

      Yeah this article says nothing about the homeowners not being at fault… They have more investigating to do. I imagine it is not easy to do when everything was blown to bits.

  • Mark B

    Natural Gas , Really and here i thought it was caused by Global Warming !

  • Donna Kiuru

    Sorry but there was a death in this blast. A beautiful English Cocker died from injuries sustained in this blast.

  • stop ur whining part deux

    And all along i thought it was Prof Plumb in the library with the dynamite. Fantastic reporting. A house blows up, levels other homes and you honestly thought it may be something else?

  • KZ14

    When Columbia Gas turned the gas on don’t they normally inspect all gas appliances?