Citizens Energy turns meter readings over to authorities as investigation continues


Four days after the explosion, the Richmond Hill neighborhood was still full of activity Wednesday, as investigators searched for clues from the appliances in the home where the explosion was centered.

Meantime, officials at Citizens Energy said they were able to get a reading from the home's gas meter, but they're not able to say what exactly they learned from that reading since the information was turned over to authorities as part of the ongoing investigation.

"All we can say to that is that the meter was functioning properly," said Spokeswoman Sarah Holsapple. "We're not able to say what the reading was.

"We've turned that over to the other authorities that are investigating and they're going to use that as part of their case now."

IMPD sources have referred to the case as a "criminal" investigation but authorities were careful to point out that doesn't mean anything criminal actually happened, just that investigators wanted to keep all possibilities in mind.

Fox59 spoke with one expert who said the explosion was like nothing he had ever seen before.

"One of the problems you run into is, post-explosion, you never know what damage existed prior to the explosion and what was the result of the explosion," said John Erickson, American Public Gas Association Vice President and a former consultant who used to testify in gas explosion cases.

"In all the ones I've worked on before, the home that had the gas leak explodes," Erickson said. "But in this case, it looked almost like two houses that were leveled all the way to the foundation, which is not something I've ever seen before."

"Something like that, without speculating too much, is going to be more than likely not a slow leak," agreed Chad Peterman of Peterman Heating & Cooling.

"It would be an unbelievable coincidence to have an inside-the-house appliance leak in two houses next to each other at the same time," said Erickson.

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