Victim in Lewisville Explosion Remembered - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Victim in Lewisville Explosion Remembered

Atmos Energy crews completed repairs to its 4-inch natural gas pipeline.



    Late Sunday, the man caught in the natural gas explosion of a Lewisville duplex died from his injuries. Ron Batts of the Christian Community Actions, which owns the building, told NBC DFW that Scott Deahl, 55, died on Sunday. He is survived by a 12-year old daughter and two sisters. (Published Monday, Jan. 14, 2013)

    Family and the organization that helped house him are remembering the victim of a natural gas explosion at a Lewisville duplex.

    Scott Deahl, 55, died from his injuried on Sunday. He is survived by a 12-year-old daughter and two sisters.

    The complex in the 500 block of East Main Street is now fenced off. Christian Community Actions, which owned the complex, is working to find tenants new long-term housing.

    On Friday, a duplex on Main Street exploded at 12:30 p.m., while crews were working to repair a gas leak. Investigators said construction workers mistakenly cut a 4-inch gas line in the area just a few hours earlier.

    The Deahl family was one of ten displaced by the blast. Late Saturday, Atmos Energy said its workers finished repairing a ruptured gas line. Natural gas service has been restored.

    Remembering Scott Deahl

    During a press conference Monday morning, leaders of the CCA shared statements from the Deahl family and Scott Deahl himself.

    Deahl had written a statement about his life in May of 2012, which was shared at the conference. It is included in its entirely below:

    "Hi my name is Scott, I was put on SSD back in 2004 for mental and lower back problems.  I was living in my own trailer at the time here in Lewisville with my family.  A year or so later I lost my family due to drugs and alcohol.  I had to get a roommate to pay my bills there.  During all this time I was getting help from CCA with food and bills.  About 2 years ago my roommate had to move out to take care of his father.  I was not able to pay my bills so I put my home up for sale.  It did not sell, so I lost it.  I was going to be living in my car until CCA was kind enough to put me in their housing.  While I was living here I was isolating myself, watching TV about SSD, worrying about losing my benefits and all the things that have happened to me. On Feb. 28, 2012 I tried to take my life.  On one hand I cut 4 or 5 times.  The other hand 8 or 9 times.  The blood kept stopping so after 3 hours I called the ambulance.  While in the hospital I was joined by 2 people in prayer.  This is part of my story.  Now I’m trying to walk the path with God by doing some volunteer work with CCA, hoping to find my way in life. -- Scott Deahl, May 2012"

    The Deahl family released the following statement about Scott Deahl's death:

    "As Scott walked with Jesus, he was able to share the love of Christ that had changed his own life with many of the people he interacted with each day - His neighbors, CCA staff, his church family at Lewisville Bible Church – and we’re sure many more, even from his story being shared today.

    We are grateful for the amazing work CCA does in this community every day and we are especially grateful for the support they provided to Scott when he needed help.

    And finally, we are deeply grateful for the impeccable care Scott received at the Medical Center of Lewisville and the Medical Center of Plano. As sad as we are to have lost Scott so suddenly in this way, these are the things we want people to know and remember about him.

    We rejoice in the fact that He is now with the Lord. This gives us great peace and carries us through this time."

    Another Family Effected

    Among those who were close to the explosion was Christy Rooney, whose mother and sister lived at the house.

    "I'm just thankful my mom wasn't there," said Rooney. "My sister wasn't there. So I still have my people."

    The agency said ten families lived in the complex. They are all being put up in hotels right now and being offered trauma counseling. An effort is underway to find them longer-term housing.

    Rooney got permission to go past a road block and into the rubble to salvage what little was left. In a rolling trashcan, she brought back treasures. 

    She spread family photos across the back of her van and a small, ceramic, decorative dish with the image of Jesus on it.

    "It was one of the first things I found when I came up on the scene," said Rooney. "It's a reminder he's always there in the midst of a disaster and it was just good for me to see his face."

    Rooney said her family is having a tough time with losing that home. They likely lost a cat in the explosion.

    NBC 5's Kendra Lyn and Mark Schnyder contributed to this story.