Gainesville Home Destroyed by Fire After Gas Line Ruptured

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A gas leak is suspected in a predawn explosion that severely damaged a Gainesville home, prompting evacuations of neighboring houses but injuring no one. (Published Thursday, Jan 24, 2013)

    Crews working to repair a water line noticed a leak in a gas line Thursday morning that is believed to have led to an explosion that destroyed a Gainesville family's home, city officials say.

    Atmos Energy said they were notified a work crew struck a gas line at 4:39 a.m. and immediately began evacuating seven homes in the area near Tennie and Weaver streets due to the high level of natural gas detected in sewer vents. 

    At about 7 a.m., one of the evacuated homes caught fire in what has been described as an explosion.

    "It sounded almost like a car crash. It had an echo to it," said Ryan Deaton, a neighbor who lives within the evacuated area.

    When firefighters arrived at the residence they reported the home fully engulfed in flames. The home to the family of four is believed to be a total loss. There were no injuries reported from the fire as the family had been evacuated two hours before.

    What specifically caused the explosion at the home has not been revealed.

    The evacuation order was lifted by mid-afternoon and crews worked throughout the day to restore electricity and gas to the impacted area. Water is expected to be restored by 7 p.m.

    NBC 5's Catherine Ross contributed to this report.