Published Fri, Nov 18, 2011 8:24 am Dateline
A Tennessee Gas spokeswoman says at this point in the investigation they don't believe an explosion in Morgan County was caused by over-pressurization in the line.
The Morgan County Sheriff's Office says ruled yesterday that Wednesday's explosion in Homer Township was the result of the ignition of natural gas following an over-pressurization or failure in the pipe or pipe weld.
Investigators from Morgan County and the Ohio State Fire Marshal's office said they couldn't determine the exact source of ignition, but they believe a spark from debris, static electricity or nearby power transformers likely ignited the natural gas.
Gas Company Spokeswoman Gretchen Krueger says the company investigation as to why the pipe failed continues and they don't believe over-pressurization was the issue.
"Our records, so far, from our monitoring show there was no evidence of an over-pressurization," says Krueger.
The sheriff's department investigation also concluded that no foul play caused the explosion.
"We're pleased that the sheriff and fire marshal's have concluded no criminal activity," says Krueger.
She says the company's investigation will be a lengthy one.
"Once a cause is determined, we're committed to letting the public know what happened," says Krueger.
The company has put security guards at the site of the explosion on Taylor Road in Homer Township round the clock.
Krueger says that's to protect the public and preserve the site for the company's investigation.
The fire destroyed three houses and a barn.
Two people were treated for minor injuries.
Witnesses say the fire shot up hundreds of feet into the air.
Jacksonville Firefighter George Pallo says first responders are just glad everyone is okay.
"Everybody worked good. It's fine. We done what we had to do. We're experienced now. We can say we found the major fire," says Pallo.