‘Atmos Has an Obligation’ to Give Customers Gas Detectors, Says Texas Burn Victim Who's Suing

In his dreams, Russell McElyea relives a day at a friend's house two years ago.He's at Raul Pedroza's home in Stephenville, about 60 miles southwest of Fort Worth, watching his friend make lunch. Pedroza washes his hands, then turns on the stove — and disappears with a boom into a 6-foot ball of fire and a haze of white smoke."My best friend was covered in blue flames," said McElyea, 62.Video recorded minutes later on responding police officers' body cameras shows Pedroza begging for help on a neighbor's front porch, with the front of his shirt and the skin on his arms burnt off. Neither man reported smelling natural gas before the blast, and McElyea says Texans should know that the telltale sulfuric odor isn't a foolproof method of discovering a leak.Last month, he filed a lawsuit against Atmos Energy. Instead of seeking damages, he hopes a Dallas County court will force Atmos to warn its customers that gas leaks might not be detectable in the ways the company advertises.  Continue reading...

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