ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – A Farmington Hills attorney says last week’s house explosion in Royal Oak came close to becoming a much larger disaster.
Stuart Sklar represents the family of 58-year-old Daniel Malczynski, who was killed last Wednesday when his home on Cooper street exploded. Consumers Energy accepted responsibility for the event, saying the gas line to Malczynski’s house was likely damaged when a new gas line was being installed along the street.
But Sklar says Consumers Energy crews actually came within an inch of rupturing a second gas line.
“On Friday when we were out there doing some preliminary investigation, we discovered that in another location about four houses down from the Malczynski home, Consumers Energy came within an inch of striking another gas line,” he said.
“They exposed the service lines in front of all of the houses down Cooper Street to measure how close they came to hitting other lines. And in this one location in front of this one house, and I saw that it was within an inch,” Skylar continued.
PHOTO GALLERY: Royal Oak House Explosion
Debra Dodd, spokesperson for Consumers Energy, said their investigation to find what might have led to the explosion is ongoing. Dodd wouldn’t confirm, however, if crews found a possible second near-rupture.
Sklar said the Malczynski family is planning to sue Consumers Energy to help prevent future accidents by the utility.
“There’s really two things here that we’re trying to accomplish. One, we’re trying to find out what happened so it can be prevented and not happen again in the future, and the second thing that we want to do is make sure that the family is compensated for their loss,” he said.
After the explosion, which was felt and heard miles away, burning and smoking wood planks from the home were scattered nearby as firefighters rushed to put out the flames. More than two dozen homes were damaged in the immediate area of the blast. Several blocks away, some businesses on Woodward Avenue were damaged, too.