Family Dog Also Survives in 'Christmas Miracle'

Atmos Energy investigating cause of fire

By Chris Van Horne and Scott Gordon
|  Wednesday, Dec 7, 2011  |  Updated 8:17 PM CDT
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The family dog also survived a Haltom City explosion and house fire.

Chris Van Horne, Fort Worth Reporter

The family dog also survived a Haltom City explosion and house fire.

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Haltom City Home Destroyed in Explosion

A Haltom City family was able to walk away from their home even though it was destroyed in what appears to be a natural gas explosion and massive fire.
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A Haltom City family found their dog alive the morning after their home exploded.

The explosion and fire destroyed the Diazes' home in the 4900 block of Orien Street on Tuesday night.

The family escaped virtually unharmed, but their dog, Diva, wasn't as fortunate. The family at first thought she was killed in the blast until a miraculous discovery while salvaging belongings Wednesday morning.

"I walked in, and I heard whimpering," Jaime Diaz Jr. said. "I heard it again, and I just started tracking it. I tracked it back to the kitchen, and she was between the pantry and freezer, underneath some hampers of clothes behind the freezer, I guess, trying to find hiding."

Diva was a little shaken but looked relatively good. The family took her to a veterinarian right away.

A 4-year-old boy, his father and grandparents were at home at the time of the explosion, and they all walked away from the incident.

"I'm speechless," Maggie Diaz, the boy's aunt, said Tuesday. "I don't know how it happened. I'm looking at the house and it's like, 'Whoa, what if they wouldn't have made it out?' It would have been a different story. We're just blessed -- Christmas miracle, I guess."

Investigators say a natural gas leak may be to blame for the blaze.

On Wednesday, crews from Atmos Energy spent the day inspecting the gas pipe that runs from the sidewalk to the house. An Atmos Energy spokesperson said the company would not know the cause of the accident until the investigation is complete.

Family members said they spelled gas before the blast. Neighbors also said they smelled natural gas.

Haltom City Fire Marshal Fred Napp said that if anyone thinks they smell natural gas, they should call 911 immediately.

He said the Diaz family was lucky.

"It's kind of rare to have an explosion of this magnitude and have the people come out relatively unharmed," Napp said. "It's a chance to talk to the people who were very near the source of the explosion to give some insight as to what possible caused the explosion."

The explosion was so strong it blew the front door off the house and nearly into the street. On the door a sticker reads, "This Home Protected by Angels."

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