Natural gas leak caused apartment explosion, collapse in Middletown

Middletown explosion
Middletown explosion
Updated: Dec. 6, 2019 at 5:26 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - An internal natural gas leaked caused the apartment explosion and collapse in Middletown on Monday, according to fire officials.

The explosion that caused the building to collapse happened around 11:30 a.m. in the 400 block of Cribbs Avenue.

One person was injured and the explosion severely damaged the building, making six apartments uninhabitable.

According to the Middletown Division of Fire, natural gas leaked from piping within an apartment where the explosion happened. The furnace within the apartment ignited, causing the explosion, which created too much pressure and led to the failure of the walls causing the partial collapse.

RELATED | Woman seriously injured in Middletown apartment explosion reported gas smell days prior, father says

The father of the woman severely injured says the incident could possibly have been avoided.

Brittany Vanderpool, 31, is still in the hospital recovering. She is suffering from a broken back and lacerations.

Brittany, he says, reported smelling gas a few days before the explosion occurred.

“She had called maintenance,” Ronnie explained, “and they said they went up there and found nothing wrong with it. But obviously there is something wrong, because she’s in the hospital in serious condition.”

He says she smelled it again just before the explosion happened, when she woke briefly in her bed to the odor of natural gas.

“The next thing she remembered was screaming, her whole apartment building exploded, nobody else’s, just hers,” Ronnie said. “And it blew out the front, it blew out, and she was laying at the bottom of all the debris. Thank God there was a guy there brave enough to go pull her out of the debris and carry her to his house.”

Duke Energy said on Monday gas technicians tested and checked natural gas lines in the area, but that no natural gas leaks on their lines were detected.

Fire officials said at this time criminal activity has been eliminated, but the investigation is ongoing.

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