ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – Consumers Energy is taking responsibility for the explosion that completely leveled a Royal Oak house Wednesday afternoon, and killed the 58-year-old man who lived there.
After initially saying the investigation into the explosion could take weeks or months to conclude — just 24 hours after it occurred, Consumers Energy spokeswoman Debra Dodd said they might have cracked the case.
“Our preliminary testing today determined that a gas service line to the house had a leak, and was probably damaged when the new gas line was being installed along the street. This was probably the cause of the explosion,” Dodd said.
PHOTO GALLERY: Royal Oak House Explosion
Investigators believe the gas built up under the home of the longtime Royal Oak resident Daniel Malczynski — although they still don’t know precisely what led to the explosion.
“We excavated the service line and through some of our testing and investigating think that this is the probable cause. Somehow when the new line was being installed, we nicked the service line or somehow damaged the service line,” Dodd said.
Pressure testing of the service lines for the remaining 38 homeowners in the area of Woodward and 13 Mile Road has already begun. Those residents are still not allowed to go back to their homes after being forced out by Wednesday’s explosion.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the victim’s family. This is just a very terrible situation,” Dodd said.