Natural gas explosion claims house; Residents suffer minor injuries |

Natural gas explosion claims house; Residents suffer minor injuries

A house exploded Thursday around 2:15 p.m. injuring one of two residents inside when gas from an unknown source ignited.

More than half of the large home located at 300 block of Andria Drive off Kingsbury Grade was reduced to a pile of rubble mixed with sections of plywood and wads of singed pink insulation.

Paramedics took Suzanne Rosevold, 47, and her husband Hans, to Barton Memorial Hospital where Suzanne was admitted and treated for minor injuries. Hans did not require treatment.

“I was in my back bedroom when I heard the explosion and heard stuff hit my house,” said Randy Cox, 43, next door neighbor to the Rosevolds. “My backyard’s covered in glass.”

After the explosion, Cox called 911 then ran next door to help the Rosevolds out of the wreckage. “(Hans) told me he flew 10 feet in the air,” Cox said. “She was in the living room playing the piano when it happened. I think he was in the kitchen.”

Cox said Suzanne hurt her back and leg, and Hans had a gash near his eye.

After the explosion, Tahoe-Douglas Fire Protection District and Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies secured the area while Southwest Gas employees and workers from the power company cut gas and electricity to the house.

“Yes, we have had an explosion,” said Southwest Gas Field Supervisor Jim Sill. “We have not determined what the cause is.”

Fire Chief Tim Smith said it appeared to be a natural gas explosion of some kind, but there was no fire on arrival.

“Sometimes gas explosions are so strong they blow any fire out,” Smith said. “This type of explosion is very uncommon. There are gas leaks, but you almost never get concentration or it never finds the ignition source and blows like this one did. There’s a good chance that what’s left of the house will have to be mechanically pulled down.”

A fire official said all the homes in the area are serviced by natural gas, a service not usually problematic. Smith said his district more often experiences gas explosions that originate at broken propane tanks rather than a natural gas source. In deep snow, valves on propane tanks sometimes freeze and crack.

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