GAS LEAK CAUSES EXPLOSION IN EUREKA HOME
It was going to be a Saturday night in for the occupants at the house on 1210 I Street in Eureka.
When News Channel 3 talked to the family on Saturday, they said they were about to have dinner and watch a movie when they decided to get pie. Leaving the house may have saved their lives.
News Channel 3 wasn’t able to reach the occupants, but their neighbor, Phil Shore, said he was sitting at home when his wife noticed smoke coming from their neighbor’s house.
"So I went across the street, and smoke was pouring out of the chimney on the right side," Shore said.
He then signaled for his wife to call 9-1-1.
"I went to knock on the door to see if anyone was home and there was no answer."
He went back to his house and sat on the porch to wait for the firefighting crews.
"The house exploded,” Shore said.
Shore said he witnessed the roof lift off the house. Humboldt Bay Fire Battalion Chief Chris Jelinek said that happened because of a large gas leak.
"The cause appears to be from some sort of a malfunctioning floor furnace," Jelinek said.
He says the ignition source likely came from the burner of the stove where the occupants were heating dinner.
"They may have been very fortunate that they weren't home because with the very large fire and the resulting explosion, they could have been seriously injured," Jelinek said.
He said the occupants were heading back and saw the explosion. Their dog was still inside the house but got out safe.
"It’s about $75,000 worth of damage from the fire and from the structural damage of the explosion," Jelinek said.
But it could have been much worse if Shore and his wife hadn't noticed and called 9-1-1.
"We care about them, they care about us,” Shore said. “It's kind of nice."