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Old June 10th 07, 08:36 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Massive Natural Gas Explosion "Flips" a House

Last week there was a massive natural gas explosion in Wisconsin that
the reporters said actually "flipped" the house. The house was
completely destoroyed, resident killed, and several neighboring houses
were destroyed. Debris was found up to 13 blocks away. The fire
dept. said it's the worst they have ever seen.

I have friends who live near the place where this explosion occurred,
who told me about it, so I looked up the media coverage on the web.
Looking at the coverage and videos, is amazing.

I am posting this because I dont understand what they are saying (in
the article below).

I'm referring to this part.
"(Meter readings show a larger than usual amount of gas flowing
through Gaulke's pipes between May 11 and June 2. In a slow leak, gas
would have migrated to other parts of the house, including the attic.
And when it ignited, it would have blown off the roof and walls but
left the floor intact.)"

The explosion was June 3. If the meter readings were high during
those approx. 3 weeks, where would it have gone? The reports said
that there was no leak underground before the meter. Obviously if the
meter showed the high usage, the leak was AFTER the meter. The meters
are right on the outside of the house and the pipes enter the basement
at that place.

If there was gas leaking into the basement, someone would have noticed
it after 3 weeks. (as stated in the article). Since no one noticed
it, it was obviously not entering the house before the explosion.
This makes me question where the gas was going.......
I sure the heck cant understand this. And you'd think that the fire
investigators surely could figure it out. I have been trying to
rationalize this, and it makes no sense.....

Anyone have any ideas?

---------------- The article below -----------------

From: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=616721

Exact source of Tosa leak elusive
Fire chief says evidence points to rapid buildup of gas in basement

June 7, 2007

Wauwatosa - Investigators believe a sudden buildup of natural gas in
the basement of a home caused the deadly explosion that killed an
elderly woman and destroyed three houses in Wauwatosa last week.

But they might never be able to pinpoint the exact source of the leak,
Wauwatosa Fire Chief Dean Redman said Thursday.

According to Redman, investigators found 10 places inside the home
where gas piping had split apart. But it could not be determined, he
said, whether those fractures were pre-existing or caused by the
blast.

Redman said the home's insurer might do additional tests in an effort
to determine that.

"But we may never know the exact point at which the gas escaped into
the house," he said.

Lorraine Gaulke, 80, died June 2 when the explosion ripped apart her
home in the 10900 block of W. Wisconsin Ave. shortly after 11 a.m. At
least two adjacent homes also were destroyed, and as many as 20 others
were damaged in the blast that sent debris flying as far as 13 blocks
away.

A medical examiner's report says Gaulke died of "mechanical asphyxia,"
meaning she could not breathe because of the weight of debris on her.

The Wauwatosa Fire Department and state fire marshal are completing
their reports. But Redman said all evidence - from meter readings to
the way Gaulke's house came down - points to a sudden surge of gas
pooling in the basement and being ignited by a pilot light or some
other source there.

Among the evidence, according to Redman:

*Gaulke had only three gas appliances - a furnace, dryer and water
heater - all in the basement.

*Meter readings show a larger than usual amount of gas flowing through
Gaulke's pipes between May 11 and June 2. In a slow leak, gas would
have migrated to other parts of the house, including the attic. And
when it ignited, it would have blown off the roof and walls but left
the floor intact.

*The explosion pushed the house off its foundation and flipped the
first floor.

Both Redman and We Energies said there was no evidence to suggest a
leak outside the home.

Utility spokesman Barry McNulty said the company found no leaks in its
pipes or equipment around the home and no problems in a door-to-door
canvass of homes in the area after the blast.

McNulty said the gas meter at Gaulke's home was replaced in March. But
he and Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Hevey, who is heading the
investigation, said there is no evidence to suggest that was a factor
in the explosion.

We Energies received no reports of a smell indicating a gas leak from
the home over the last month, and two reports of such an odor in the
area since May 1 were unrelated, he said.

As standard procedure, McNulty said, We Energies is mandated by the
state Public Service Commission to recheck the area to ensure that the
force of the blast did not compromise any equipment.

"And we'll be doing that as soon as the fire marshal and fire chief
give us the high sign," McNulty said.



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Old June 10th 07, 09:12 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Massive Natural Gas Explosion "Flips" a House

Dave Martindale wrote:
writes:

I'm referring to this part.
"(Meter readings show a larger than usual amount of gas flowing
through Gaulke's pipes between May 11 and June 2. In a slow leak, gas
would have migrated to other parts of the house, including the attic.
And when it ignited, it would have blown off the roof and walls but
left the floor intact.)"


The explosion was June 3. If the meter readings were high during
those approx. 3 weeks, where would it have gone?


I don't think that's what happened. Probably the last meter reading
was done on May 11. The reading on June 2 indicated that *sometime
during that period* there was a high flow of gas, because the June 2
reading is higher than you'd expect from previous normal consumption.
But the gas flow might have been perfectly normal until 15 minutes
before the explosion, at which time something failed and started
leaking fast.

Now, reading the statement as written, you'd think that gas flow was
high for the whole 3 weeks, but unless the gas meter is some sort of
fancy electronic type that keeps a record of gas flow vs. time, there's
no possible way to tell the difference between a slightly high flow for
3 weeks and a normal flow for 3 weeks followed by a large leak.

I'd chalk this up to sloppy writing by the author.


I'd agree w/ the assessment and add the writer probably had no clue what
was writing about...

I'd be _very_ surprised if an _expert_ forensic examination couldn't
pinpoint the actual explosion ignition point and pre- as opposed to
post-explosion leaks, but not too surprised if the resources required
weren't assigned to the task.

If I were a gas customer in the area, however, I'd surely be considering
doing some serious checking on conditions of my service lines...

--

--
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Old June 10th 07, 09:26 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Massive Natural Gas Explosion "Flips" a House


"Dave Martindale" wrote in message
...
writes:

I'm referring to this part.
"(Meter readings show a larger than usual amount of gas flowing
through Gaulke's pipes between May 11 and June 2. In a slow leak, gas
would have migrated to other parts of the house, including the attic.
And when it ignited, it would have blown off the roof and walls but
left the floor intact.)"


The explosion was June 3. If the meter readings were high during
those approx. 3 weeks, where would it have gone?


I don't think that's what happened. Probably the last meter reading
was done on May 11. The reading on June 2 indicated that *sometime
during that period* there was a high flow of gas, because the June 2
reading is higher than you'd expect from previous normal consumption.
But the gas flow might have been perfectly normal until 15 minutes
before the explosion, at which time something failed and started
leaking fast.

Now, reading the statement as written, you'd think that gas flow was
high for the whole 3 weeks, but unless the gas meter is some sort of
fancy electronic type that keeps a record of gas flow vs. time, there's
no possible way to tell the difference between a slightly high flow for
3 weeks and a normal flow for 3 weeks followed by a large leak.

I'd chalk this up to sloppy writing by the author.


A data logging electronic gas meter would need a back-up battery and ac
power plus some computer chips. I'd guess that you are correct that there
is no way to determine when high use occurred, other than during a
particular billing cycle.

Natural gas is lighter than air but still can collect in a basement if the
leak is severe. So, if something ruptured and filled the basement that
could explain the lifting of the house. The house most likely had a gas hot
water heater and when it ignited it could have touched off the explosion.



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Old June 10th 07, 11:35 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Massive Natural Gas Explosion "Flips" a House

On Jun 10, 4:07 pm, (Dave Martindale) wrote:
writes:
I'm referring to this part.
"(Meter readings show a larger than usual amount of gas flowing
through Gaulke's pipes between May 11 and June 2. In a slow leak, gas
would have migrated to other parts of the house, including the attic.
And when it ignited, it would have blown off the roof and walls but
left the floor intact.)"
The explosion was June 3. If the meter readings were high during
those approx. 3 weeks, where would it have gone?


I don't think that's what happened. Probably the last meter reading
was done on May 11. The reading on June 2 indicated that *sometime
during that period* there was a high flow of gas, because the June 2
reading is higher than you'd expect from previous normal consumption.
But the gas flow might have been perfectly normal until 15 minutes
before the explosion, at which time something failed and started
leaking fast.

Now, reading the statement as written, you'd think that gas flow was
high for the whole 3 weeks, but unless the gas meter is some sort of
fancy electronic type that keeps a record of gas flow vs. time, there's
no possible way to tell the difference between a slightly high flow for
3 weeks and a normal flow for 3 weeks followed by a large leak.

I'd chalk this up to sloppy writing by the author.

Dave


The 3 week period is probably the period since the last recorded
reading of the meter. The gas leak probably started leaking vast
amounts right before the explosion. If natural gas it filled the
basement from the basement "ceiling" down to the floor where it was
most likely ignited by the water heater pilot.

Also, if the meter were not immediately destroyed it would have
recorded even more gas pouring thru it as gas continued to escape from
the damaged house piping system.

boom.....

About 15 years a go a house here was being slowly torn down, somehow
workers with heavy equipment busted the gas line...inside the
house.....couple hours after workmen left the house exploded. I was 3
houses down sitting on the bedroom floor gong thru some personal
papers. While the explosion didnt "lift me off the floor" it did shake
the house ...lol. Our home suffered no damage....only a church next to
the house that exploded suffered any damage.



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Old June 10th 07, 11:37 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Massive Natural Gas Explosion "Flips" a House

On Jun 10, 3:26 pm, "Charles" wrote:
"Dave Martindale" wrote in message

...



writes:


I'm referring to this part.
"(Meter readings show a larger than usual amount of gas flowing
through Gaulke's pipes between May 11 and June 2. In a slow leak, gas
would have migrated to other parts of the house, including the attic.
And when it ignited, it would have blown off the roof and walls but
left the floor intact.)"


The explosion was June 3. If the meter readings were high during
those approx. 3 weeks, where would it have gone?


I don't think that's what happened. Probably the last meter reading
was done on May 11. The reading on June 2 indicated that *sometime
during that period* there was a high flow of gas, because the June 2
reading is higher than you'd expect from previous normal consumption.
But the gas flow might have been perfectly normal until 15 minutes
before the explosion, at which time something failed and started
leaking fast.


Now, reading the statement as written, you'd think that gas flow was
high for the whole 3 weeks, but unless the gas meter is some sort of
fancy electronic type that keeps a record of gas flow vs. time, there's
no possible way to tell the difference between a slightly high flow for
3 weeks and a normal flow for 3 weeks followed by a large leak.


I'd chalk this up to sloppy writing by the author.


A data logging electronic gas meter would need a back-up battery and ac
power plus some computer chips. I'd guess that you are correct that there
is no way to determine when high use occurred, other than during a
particular billing cycle.

Natural gas is lighter than air but still can collect in a basement if the
leak is severe. So, if something ruptured and filled the basement that
could explain the lifting of the house. The house most likely had a gas hot
water heater and when it ignited it could have touched off the explosion.


I live the in the same city as the explosion. No fancy gas meters in
this area, and 99 / 100 houses here have a gas meter that provides low
pressure (8-10" on a water column) so no regulators are required at
the appliances.

Hard to imagine how enough gas could accumulate to cause this. The
pressure is so low that you can't imagine anything "bursting". I
would think that the most likely appliance to provide a huge gas flow
would be a range with a couple of unlit burners on, but there is no
information which indicates that the homeowner had one.

I actually looked at a "fixer-upper" property that was damaged by a
gas explosion. The dryer had been removed, and the owner turned the
supply valve "ON" thinking he was turning it "OFF" after the dryer was
disconnected. He then left the house which went BOOM about 1/2 hour
later. Less damage than this latest Wauwatosa house, but still pretty
bad. The explosion blew all the face brick off the house, and damaged
the framing where the wall studs met the roof framing.

Our local journalists leave much to be desired, so it would be no
surprise to see them get the story wrong or draw the wrong
conclusions.

JK
Wauwatosa, WI

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Old June 11th 07, 04:18 AM posted to alt.home.repair
EXT EXT is offline
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Default Massive Natural Gas Explosion "Flips" a House

In the report it says debris was found 13 blocks away. THIS WAS NOT A GAS
EXPLOSION only. Gas has a "soft" explosion, dynamite and other explosives
have hard explosions. When the forensic experts are finished determining
what happened I am certain they will find that the actual explosion was
generated by a high explosive, and the gas was just involved. This had to be
set.

In my city over about 10 years there have been 3 explosions that leaking gas
was blamed. In every case, it was gas, but it was purposely set by someone
by opening a pipe or connection. In all the gas explosions several houses on
all sides were damaged even destroyed but the damage did not extend more
than part of a block. Gas only explodes within a narrow range of gas to air
ratio, too little gas and it won't blow, too much gas and it cannot blow, so
more gas does not make a bigger bang.

40 years working with a major gas utility taught me a lot about gas.

wrote in message
...
Last week there was a massive natural gas explosion in Wisconsin that
the reporters said actually "flipped" the house. The house was
completely destoroyed, resident killed, and several neighboring houses
were destroyed. Debris was found up to 13 blocks away. The fire
dept. said it's the worst they have ever seen.

I have friends who live near the place where this explosion occurred,
who told me about it, so I looked up the media coverage on the web.
Looking at the coverage and videos, is amazing.

I am posting this because I dont understand what they are saying (in
the article below).

I'm referring to this part.
"(Meter readings show a larger than usual amount of gas flowing
through Gaulke's pipes between May 11 and June 2. In a slow leak, gas
would have migrated to other parts of the house, including the attic.
And when it ignited, it would have blown off the roof and walls but
left the floor intact.)"

The explosion was June 3. If the meter readings were high during
those approx. 3 weeks, where would it have gone? The reports said
that there was no leak underground before the meter. Obviously if the
meter showed the high usage, the leak was AFTER the meter. The meters
are right on the outside of the house and the pipes enter the basement
at that place.

If there was gas leaking into the basement, someone would have noticed
it after 3 weeks. (as stated in the article). Since no one noticed
it, it was obviously not entering the house before the explosion.
This makes me question where the gas was going.......
I sure the heck cant understand this. And you'd think that the fire
investigators surely could figure it out. I have been trying to
rationalize this, and it makes no sense.....

Anyone have any ideas?

---------------- The article below -----------------

From: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=616721

Exact source of Tosa leak elusive
Fire chief says evidence points to rapid buildup of gas in basement

June 7, 2007

Wauwatosa - Investigators believe a sudden buildup of natural gas in
the basement of a home caused the deadly explosion that killed an
elderly woman and destroyed three houses in Wauwatosa last week.

But they might never be able to pinpoint the exact source of the leak,
Wauwatosa Fire Chief Dean Redman said Thursday.

According to Redman, investigators found 10 places inside the home
where gas piping had split apart. But it could not be determined, he
said, whether those fractures were pre-existing or caused by the
blast.

Redman said the home's insurer might do additional tests in an effort
to determine that.

"But we may never know the exact point at which the gas escaped into
the house," he said.

Lorraine Gaulke, 80, died June 2 when the explosion ripped apart her
home in the 10900 block of W. Wisconsin Ave. shortly after 11 a.m. At
least two adjacent homes also were destroyed, and as many as 20 others
were damaged in the blast that sent debris flying as far as 13 blocks
away.

A medical examiner's report says Gaulke died of "mechanical asphyxia,"
meaning she could not breathe because of the weight of debris on her.

The Wauwatosa Fire Department and state fire marshal are completing
their reports. But Redman said all evidence - from meter readings to
the way Gaulke's house came down - points to a sudden surge of gas
pooling in the basement and being ignited by a pilot light or some
other source there.

Among the evidence, according to Redman:

*Gaulke had only three gas appliances - a furnace, dryer and water
heater - all in the basement.

*Meter readings show a larger than usual amount of gas flowing through
Gaulke's pipes between May 11 and June 2. In a slow leak, gas would
have migrated to other parts of the house, including the attic. And
when it ignited, it would have blown off the roof and walls but left
the floor intact.

*The explosion pushed the house off its foundation and flipped the
first floor.

Both Redman and We Energies said there was no evidence to suggest a
leak outside the home.

Utility spokesman Barry McNulty said the company found no leaks in its
pipes or equipment around the home and no problems in a door-to-door
canvass of homes in the area after the blast.

McNulty said the gas meter at Gaulke's home was replaced in March. But
he and Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Hevey, who is heading the
investigation, said there is no evidence to suggest that was a factor
in the explosion.

We Energies received no reports of a smell indicating a gas leak from
the home over the last month, and two reports of such an odor in the
area since May 1 were unrelated, he said.

As standard procedure, McNulty said, We Energies is mandated by the
state Public Service Commission to recheck the area to ensure that the
force of the blast did not compromise any equipment.

"And we'll be doing that as soon as the fire marshal and fire chief
give us the high sign," McNulty said.




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Old June 11th 07, 04:44 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 1,079
Default Massive Natural Gas Explosion "Flips" a House


"EXT" wrote in message
anews.com...
In the report it says debris was found 13 blocks away. THIS WAS NOT A GAS
EXPLOSION only. Gas has a "soft" explosion, dynamite and other explosives
have hard explosions. When the forensic experts are finished determining
what happened I am certain they will find that the actual explosion was
generated by a high explosive, and the gas was just involved. This had to
be set.


13 blocks - that's over a mile. Maybe the owner was storing her black
powder next to the furnace?

"But officer, I didn't know you couldn't have 20 lbs of serpentine in your
basement."


In my city over about 10 years there have been 3 explosions that leaking
gas was blamed. In every case, it was gas, but it was purposely set by
someone by opening a pipe or connection. In all the gas explosions several
houses on all sides were damaged even destroyed but the damage did not
extend more than part of a block. Gas only explodes within a narrow range
of gas to air ratio, too little gas and it won't blow, too much gas and it
cannot blow, so more gas does not make a bigger bang.

40 years working with a major gas utility taught me a lot about gas.

wrote in message
...
Last week there was a massive natural gas explosion in Wisconsin that
the reporters said actually "flipped" the house. The house was
completely destoroyed, resident killed, and several neighboring houses
were destroyed. Debris was found up to 13 blocks away. The fire
dept. said it's the worst they have ever seen.

I have friends who live near the place where this explosion occurred,
who told me about it, so I looked up the media coverage on the web.
Looking at the coverage and videos, is amazing.

I am posting this because I dont understand what they are saying (in
the article below).

I'm referring to this part.
"(Meter readings show a larger than usual amount of gas flowing
through Gaulke's pipes between May 11 and June 2. In a slow leak, gas
would have migrated to other parts of the house, including the attic.
And when it ignited, it would have blown off the roof and walls but
left the floor intact.)"

The explosion was June 3. If the meter readings were high during
those approx. 3 weeks, where would it have gone? The reports said
that there was no leak underground before the meter. Obviously if the
meter showed the high usage, the leak was AFTER the meter. The meters
are right on the outside of the house and the pipes enter the basement
at that place.

If there was gas leaking into the basement, someone would have noticed
it after 3 weeks. (as stated in the article). Since no one noticed
it, it was obviously not entering the house before the explosion.
This makes me question where the gas was going.......
I sure the heck cant understand this. And you'd think that the fire
investigators surely could figure it out. I have been trying to
rationalize this, and it makes no sense.....

Anyone have any ideas?

---------------- The article below -----------------

From: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=616721

Exact source of Tosa leak elusive
Fire chief says evidence points to rapid buildup of gas in basement

June 7, 2007

Wauwatosa - Investigators believe a sudden buildup of natural gas in
the basement of a home caused the deadly explosion that killed an
elderly woman and destroyed three houses in Wauwatosa last week.

But they might never be able to pinpoint the exact source of the leak,
Wauwatosa Fire Chief Dean Redman said Thursday.

According to Redman, investigators found 10 places inside the home
where gas piping had split apart. But it could not be determined, he
said, whether those fractures were pre-existing or caused by the
blast.

Redman said the home's insurer might do additional tests in an effort
to determine that.

"But we may never know the exact point at which the gas escaped into
the house," he said.

Lorraine Gaulke, 80, died June 2 when the explosion ripped apart her
home in the 10900 block of W. Wisconsin Ave. shortly after 11 a.m. At
least two adjacent homes also were destroyed, and as many as 20 others
were damaged in the blast that sent debris flying as far as 13 blocks
away.

A medical examiner's report says Gaulke died of "mechanical asphyxia,"
meaning she could not breathe because of the weight of debris on her.

The Wauwatosa Fire Department and state fire marshal are completing
their reports. But Redman said all evidence - from meter readings to
the way Gaulke's house came down - points to a sudden surge of gas
pooling in the basement and being ignited by a pilot light or some
other source there.

Among the evidence, according to Redman:

*Gaulke had only three gas appliances - a furnace, dryer and water
heater - all in the basement.

*Meter readings show a larger than usual amount of gas flowing through
Gaulke's pipes between May 11 and June 2. In a slow leak, gas would
have migrated to other parts of the house, including the attic. And
when it ignited, it would have blown off the roof and walls but left
the floor intact.

*The explosion pushed the house off its foundation and flipped the
first floor.

Both Redman and We Energies said there was no evidence to suggest a
leak outside the home.

Utility spokesman Barry McNulty said the company found no leaks in its
pipes or equipment around the home and no problems in a door-to-door
canvass of homes in the area after the blast.

McNulty said the gas meter at Gaulke's home was replaced in March. But
he and Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Hevey, who is heading the
investigation, said there is no evidence to suggest that was a factor
in the explosion.

We Energies received no reports of a smell indicating a gas leak from
the home over the last month, and two reports of such an odor in the
area since May 1 were unrelated, he said.

As standard procedure, McNulty said, We Energies is mandated by the
state Public Service Commission to recheck the area to ensure that the
force of the blast did not compromise any equipment.

"And we'll be doing that as soon as the fire marshal and fire chief
give us the high sign," McNulty said.






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Old June 11th 07, 04:56 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 44
Default Massive Natural Gas Explosion "Flips" a House

On Jun 10, 10:18 pm, "EXT" wrote:
In the report it says debris was found 13 blocks away. THIS WAS NOT A GAS
EXPLOSION only. Gas has a "soft" explosion, dynamite and other explosives
have hard explosions. When the forensic experts are finished determining
what happened I am certain they will find that the actual explosion was
generated by a high explosive, and the gas was just involved. This had to be
set.

In my city over about 10 years there have been 3 explosions that leaking gas
was blamed. In every case, it was gas, but it was purposely set by someone
by opening a pipe or connection. In all the gas explosions several houses on
all sides were damaged even destroyed but the damage did not extend more
than part of a block. Gas only explodes within a narrow range of gas to air
ratio, too little gas and it won't blow, too much gas and it cannot blow, so
more gas does not make a bigger bang.

40 years working with a major gas utility taught me a lot about gas.

wrote in message

...



Last week there was a massive natural gas explosion in Wisconsin that
the reporters said actually "flipped" the house. The house was
completely destoroyed, resident killed, and several neighboring houses
were destroyed. Debris was found up to 13 blocks away. The fire
dept. said it's the worst they have ever seen.


I have friends who live near the place where this explosion occurred,
who told me about it, so I looked up the media coverage on the web.
Looking at the coverage and videos, is amazing.


I am posting this because I dont understand what they are saying (in
the article below).


I'm referring to this part.
"(Meter readings show a larger than usual amount of gas flowing
through Gaulke's pipes between May 11 and June 2. In a slow leak, gas
would have migrated to other parts of the house, including the attic.
And when it ignited, it would have blown off the roof and walls but
left the floor intact.)"


The explosion was June 3. If the meter readings were high during
those approx. 3 weeks, where would it have gone? The reports said
that there was no leak underground before the meter. Obviously if the
meter showed the high usage, the leak was AFTER the meter. The meters
are right on the outside of the house and the pipes enter the basement
at that place.


If there was gas leaking into the basement, someone would have noticed
it after 3 weeks. (as stated in the article). Since no one noticed
it, it was obviously not entering the house before the explosion.
This makes me question where the gas was going.......
I sure the heck cant understand this. And you'd think that the fire
investigators surely could figure it out. I have been trying to
rationalize this, and it makes no sense.....


Anyone have any ideas?


---------------- The article below -----------------


From:http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=616721


Exact source of Tosa leak elusive
Fire chief says evidence points to rapid buildup of gas in basement


June 7, 2007


Wauwatosa - Investigators believe a sudden buildup of natural gas in
the basement of a home caused the deadly explosion that killed an
elderly woman and destroyed three houses in Wauwatosa last week.


But they might never be able to pinpoint the exact source of the leak,
Wauwatosa Fire Chief Dean Redman said Thursday.


According to Redman, investigators found 10 places inside the home
where gas piping had split apart. But it could not be determined, he
said, whether those fractures were pre-existing or caused by the
blast.


Redman said the home's insurer might do additional tests in an effort
to determine that.


"But we may never know the exact point at which the gas escaped into
the house," he said.


Lorraine Gaulke, 80, died June 2 when the explosion ripped apart her
home in the 10900 block of W. Wisconsin Ave. shortly after 11 a.m. At
least two adjacent homes also were destroyed, and as many as 20 others
were damaged in the blast that sent debris flying as far as 13 blocks
away.


A medical examiner's report says Gaulke died of "mechanical asphyxia,"
meaning she could not breathe because of the weight of debris on her.


The Wauwatosa Fire Department and state fire marshal are completing
their reports. But Redman said all evidence - from meter readings to
the way Gaulke's house came down - points to a sudden surge of gas
pooling in the basement and being ignited by a pilot light or some
other source there.


Among the evidence, according to Redman:


*Gaulke had only three gas appliances - a furnace, dryer and water
heater - all in the basement.


*Meter readings show a larger than usual amount of gas flowing through
Gaulke's pipes between May 11 and June 2. In a slow leak, gas would
have migrated to other parts of the house, including the attic. And
when it ignited, it would have blown off the roof and walls but left
the floor intact.


*The explosion pushed the house off its foundation and flipped the
first floor.


Both Redman and We Energies said there was no evidence to suggest a
leak outside the home.


Utility spokesman Barry McNulty said the company found no leaks in its
pipes or equipment around the home and no problems in a door-to-door
canvass of homes in the area after the blast.


McNulty said the gas meter at Gaulke's home was replaced in March. But
he and Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Hevey, who is heading the
investigation, said there is no evidence to suggest that was a factor
in the explosion.


We Energies received no reports of a smell indicating a gas leak from
the home over the last month, and two reports of such an odor in the
area since May 1 were unrelated, he said.


As standard procedure, McNulty said, We Energies is mandated by the
state Public Service Commission to recheck the area to ensure that the
force of the blast did not compromise any equipment.


"And we'll be doing that as soon as the fire marshal and fire chief
give us the high sign," McNulty said.- Hide quoted text -


- Show quoted text -


A lot of issues might be resolved here by reading a more factual
account of the accident.
http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/7805427.html


  #10   Report Post  
Old June 11th 07, 05:16 AM posted to alt.home.repair
dpb dpb is offline
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Default Massive Natural Gas Explosion "Flips" a House

Eigenvector wrote:
"EXT" wrote in message
anews.com...
In the report it says debris was found 13 blocks away. THIS WAS NOT A GAS
EXPLOSION only. Gas has a "soft" explosion, dynamite and other explosives
have hard explosions. When the forensic experts are finished determining
what happened I am certain they will find that the actual explosion was
generated by a high explosive, and the gas was just involved. This had to
be set.


13 blocks - that's over a mile. Maybe the owner was storing her black
powder next to the furnace?

....

I wouldn't put too much faith in the newspaper reports...the "debris"
could, after all, be cellulose insulation carried by the wind, or it may
have had nothing at all to do w/ the explosion.

I wouldn't put it past gas to have done the damage, either. Have seen
the results of a couple of explosions at nearby collection stations and
a compressor station -- that one, the shock wave from right at 10 miles
away knocked snow off the roof of the house...nothing but natural gas,
no "hard" explosives at all involved...

--


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