Massachusetts explosions: How to keep your family, home safe

Published: Friday, September 14, 2018 @ 5:43 PM

A woman in Kettering was killed last December after her house exploded and burned at about 4:30 a.m. Firefighters found the woman in the neighbors yard in the 400 block of North Claridge Drive. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
A woman in Kettering was killed last December after her house exploded and burned at about 4:30 a.m. Firefighters found the woman in the neighbors yard in the 400 block of North Claridge Drive. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Could explosions like the ones outside of Boston Thursday happen in Miami Valley?

It’s rare, but can happen anywhere, according to Scott Bennett, former Dayton fire fighter and an investigator for Fire and Explosion Consultants in Huber Heights. 

“It has happened here,” Bennett said. “Not here in Dayton, Ohio, but it has happened here in Ohio on more than one occasion.”

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In December 2017, an explosion at a house on North Claridge Drive in Kettering killed Darlene Baumgardner, who was found in a neighbor’s yard.

Investigators haven’t definitively said what caused the blast, but suspect natural gas was responsible. 

Dramatic images of the house afterward showed the home leveled.

A woman in Kettering was killed last December after her house exploded and burned. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

It was a similar sight in Boston suburbs today, but on dozens of properties.

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“This is going to be a very tedious investigation,” Bennett said.

Investigators in Massachusetts believe over-pressurized gas valves are to blame.

As the situation unfolded yesterday, Massachusetts officials put out an urgent call for people to shut off their gas.

“Go outside to where your gas meter is,” said Bennett. “There’s a gas valve on your line coming into your house. You turn it halfway...you shut off the gas.”

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