Thieves Suspected In Pontiac House Explosion

PONTIAC (WWJ) – Thieves may be to blame for an early morning house explosion in Pontiac. Battalion Chief John Widdis said he has seen similar house explosions in Pontiac this year.

“This is about the fourth one of these we’ve had. The house in vacant at the time, they’re going in and we’ve got a problem with people taking pipes … turn the (gas) meter off, go in and take the pipes. But then they go back out, turn the meter back on, and this is what you end up with,” said Widdis.

Consumers Energy spokeswoman Debra Dodd says if it turns out that scrap metal thieves are the cause of the fire it is an extremely dangerous situation.

“Natural gas is very safe when used correctly, but when you’re stripping lines, you are taking your life, your neighbors’ lives, the general public’s lives in your hands, and that’s a very dangerous thing to do,” Dodd said.

It happened in a two-story vacant home on South Shirley Street north of Auburn Road, near Woodward and M-59.

Ruby Lee, who lives across the street, said the explosion woke her up.

“It sounded so loud it scared me, it really scared me,” Lee said. “I was in bed and I heard this loud explosion. I get up, go to the front door and opened it up … something exploded and blew the top off a house.”

WWJ’s Lance Howard, flying over the scene in the LaFontaine Cadillac Buck GMC chopper, said one wall crashed into a neighboring house. A second wall was blown into the backyard and the roof crashed down.

Lee said a family lived in the home years ago. She said it’s been empty for awhile, but new owners were keeping the property up.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the explosion remains under investigation.

– Read a related story –

  • jake49

    O’bummer nation


    • CONNECTICUT SSN 042-68-4425

      Google “Susan Daniels Explains Fraud” and see the video.

      Here is a short article on Barry’s CONNECTICUT SSN fraud –

      I’m sure the media will report all this soon…

    • LarryG

      I got this article from the newspaper’s archives but it has been magically expunged. How did that happen, I wonder.

      Big Issue | Financial Standard | Maddo | Pulse | Style | Society
      Sunday, June 27, 2004

      Kenyan-born Obama all set for US Senate
      Kenyan-born US Senate hopeful, Barrack Obama, appeared set to take over the Illinois Senate seat after his main rival, Jack Ryan, dropped out of the race on Friday night amid a furor over lurid sex club allegations.
      The allegations that horrified fellow Republicans and caused his once-promising candidacy to implode in four short days have given Obama a clear lead as Republicans struggled to fetch an alternative.
      Ryan’s campaign began to crumble on Monday following the release of embarrassing records from his divorce. In the records, his ex-wife, Boston Public actress Jeri Ryan, said her former husband took her to kinky sex clubs in Paris, New York and New Orleans.
      “It’s clear to me that a vigorous debate on the issues most likely could not take place if I remain in the race,” Ryan, 44, said in a statement. “What would take place, rather, is a brutal, scorched-earth campaign – the kind of campaign that has turned off so many voters, the kind of politics I refuse to play.”
      Although Ryan disputed the allegations, saying he and his wife went to one ‘avant-garde’ club in Paris and left because they felt uncomfortable, lashed out at the media and said it was “truly outrageous” that the Chicago Tribune got a judge to unseal the records.
      The Republican choice will become an instant underdog in the campaign for the seat of retiring Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald, since Obama held a wide lead even before the scandal broke.
      “I feel for him actually,” Obama told a Chicago TV station. “What he’s gone through over the last three days I think is something you wouldn’t wish on anybody.”

      • Susan See

        Uh, are you responding to the wrong article?

      • Rowwdy

        @ Ken Dixon: Puhleeze. That story by Snopes is ridiculous. Snopes is WELL KNOWN for being far left and also pro Obama. They have been caught so many times being wrong, I don’t even bother with them. Btw: Obama never refuted that story.

      • Ken Dixon
  • Angry American waiting for Jan 2013

    What he said

    • Dan

      me too!

  • Gone in 2012

    Welcome to the Obama Economy

  • Customer throws scalding water in barista's face... | Breaking News

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  • Jax

    The USA has become an “Obama-nation”.


      It’s for the children…

      • LarryG

        Diversity is just another word for disunity. Fail.

    • Susan See

      Comment on the story and stop interjecting your stupid political ideas. It’s boring.

      • David

        Go suck an egg

  • Reality

    Really need to reign in the feral males in your city.Thanx dhimmicrats!

  • trudy

    exactly right. when can we get OUR government to do what WE want.

  • Daviid

    Natural gas lines around here are not copper. Water lines yes but not natural gas. our regulations require blackened steel pipe for NG lines.

    • O.k. Kerby

      You are absolutely correct. Copper can not be used for gas. Black pipe only for gas. Article is incorrect. Typical

      • Chuck_Indy

        Yes – how can this get reported – Pure Fabrication – Need to investicate this “news” site.


    Something similar happened here in NC. The two Ensteins thought they were cutting into a water line and it was a gas line. Both are in the burn center at UNC Hospital

    • Oshunvuz

      And taxpayers are paying to nurse them back to health no doubt.

  • George Johnson

    Which is why these sorts need to be shot on sight.

    Harsh? Yeah. But it’ll put a stop to it, and stop putting peoples lives in danger.

  • John

    well at least everybody ignores the 3rd amendment

    • Jerome from Layton

      Ever hear of the Endangered Species Act? The EPA is just about to shut down the Permian Basin from petroleum exploration over a LIZARD!

  • The Cryptojournalist

    Will thieves just be considerate and keep the gas off already? Sheesh

  • Irish Shrugged

    Obviously just some “Bumps in the Road” Thanks O’Blarney, you are as good an Irishman as TED KENNEDY. HE is a better Irishman than O’Blarney just because he is dead. When will O’Blarney join his pal TED?

    • Susan See

      this is a story about copper pipes; are you responding to another story?

  • Surprised

    Copper piping shoul never be used for natural gas. Introducing the two reselts in some nasty stuff that clogs things up.

  • RufusVonDufus

    Sounds more like Obama to me!

  • Davec

    not to mention the amount of copper in the TUBING (no one makes COPPER PIPE, gezus the illiteracy) is VERY small.

    TUBING, PEOPLE. Very thin, not much copper weight in total.

    • Katz P. Ajamas


      Bzzzt… The confusion between tubing and pipe has to do with SIZE. One is nominal inside diameter while the other is nominal outside diameter. This matters ti anyone involved in fitting. However, for the rest of us, pipe, the verb is so much conceptually related to pipe the noun, that we do not bother with the technical difference….


    • Mark Hillyard

      Well there is copper tubing and then there is copper pipe, and bendable copper tubing. When I buy 1/2″ or 3/4″ copper pipe, for home installations, I ask for copper pipe and not copper tubing. There is also a difference in the copper wall thickness that is commonly available and is classed as L or M. One is thin walled and the other is thicker for burying. Copper pipe is also available for larger water systems when so specified. Don’t know it all but there.

      • rob

        Pipe is measured I.D. as it is utilized to carry products measured in volume.
        Tubing is measured O.D. and has various wall thickness but often unknowledged unprofessionals refer to anything round as pipe

      • O.k. Kerby

        Now you have really confused me. You could never use you copper on a farm. would burn everything down. That is what did in Chicago, and that crazy cow. O.K.K.

    • LarryG

      You don’t know what you’re talking about, Bozo.

  • Fanny Forbes Franklen

    Welcome to OmeriKa. Have a great day.


  • Moemo

    They didnt blow up the house stealing the copper, they took the copper and blew up the house after, by tampering with the gas line. Writer got the story wrong. The gas lines have nothing to do with the copper.

  • Marine4RonPaul

    I can’t wait to vote for Ron Paul

  • frank

    Obama’s America

  • stan

    Meth heads.

  • Mike Q

    glad they did this, any house that uses copper tubing for gas lines could have eventually killed their occupants. Lazy contractors, not understanding that the additives in natural gas break down copper lines causing them to crack, and your family dying. Houses built with that should be torn down.

    • Grape Ape

      Methyl mercaptan.

  • jeffjjjj

    This story is a lie! gas is run in black pipe, which is Iron., nor copper. copper was (is) used for water only, up to the use of PVC. anyone that runs copper for gas is an idiot. copper is allowed to run from a propane pig to the building but inside a building it must be Iron (black pipe). i think the news is as stupid as the Pontiac City Council. hopefully they ran their gas lines in copper!!!!!!!

  • sueinmi

    These people don’t care about others…they aren’t THEIR neighbors..they aren’t THEIR kids,..they aren’t THEIR friends…it’s not THEIR lives.

  • Rowwdy

    Why is the gas even on in a vacant or abandoned house? That is pretty stupid on the owners part to begin with.

    • Susan See

      Not abandoned. Says new owners were keeping it up.

  • NowYouKnow

    Since when did they start using copper for gas pipes?

    • O.k. Kerby

      Listen to me. I have spent time in Pontiac. It’s called “Yak Town”, (Google it.) The Building Inspectors, in Pontiac would let you use plastic pipe for gas feeds. But just try to hire someone to paint your house without a permit. Oh man the sh!t will hit the proverbial fan. O.K.K.

    • Susan See

      water, water, water, water, water, water, water, water..

  • Rick A Hyatt

    I long for the good old days when one could just shoot someone doing that.

  • Copper Thieves Blamed For 4 House Explosions In Michigan Town… | The Daily Conservative

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  • Jerome from Layton

    I wonder if they were taking the flexible link between the gas pipe and the appliances? Some of them are copper alloy. Out here, we used to shoot cattle rustlers and horse thieves on sight. Just an idea.

  • nightwriter

    The illegals steal all our copper/metal, etc. in California. Wanna bet that’s who’s taking the copper in MI too!

  • Mike Alright

    No matter what you idiots think, this country is in trouble. Every year a bunch of feminized, nanny-state loving idiots come out of the public schools you idiots love so much. Keep living in your la-de-da dream world while you can you morons….

  • No Friend of Big Ears

    Agh….the Great Sharia state of Michigan!

    • O.k. Kerby

      You mean Michganistan, right? O.K.K.

  • D

    dam Negros swiped more gas then could carry! walked ten feet had had a smoke

  • Eyeball

    The decay os society. Predicted in “Atlan Shrugged”.

  • Doug

    uhm…. why not just hang out at places where you can sell copper. Eventually a bunch of idiots are going to show up in a pickup truck full of copper.

  • Copper Thieves Blamed For 4 House Explosions In Michigan Town... | Breaking News

    […] (Third column, 10th story, link) […]

  • moonmac

    Copper is being stolen out of all these empty home from inside jobs(realtors). Ben Bernanke has caused so much death and destruction with his inflation. $1,500 for a little coin of gold. The FED has detroyed our country for ever!

  • Thomas Oleksiak

    black pipe may be the universal original installation for gas but should a leak be discovered it is not unusual to re-line the black pipe with copper tubing……ask the local gas company.

  • awojoone

    It was deliberate act to blow this house.Thieves dont care.

  • Odds 'n Sods: -

    […] Copper Thieves Suspected in Pontiac House Explosion. (The fourth such explosion in recent months.) […]

  • A Tale of Two Cities | Life After Limbaugh

    […] Similar stories come from the nearby city of Pontiac. […]

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