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Consumers Energy Workers Fired After Deadly Blast

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(credit: Jon Hewitt/WWJ)

(credit: Jon Hewitt/WWJ)

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ROYAL OAK (WWJ/AP) - Consumers Energy has fired some employees after a gas explosion killed a 58-year-old metro Detroit man.

Daniel Malczynski of Royal Oak died when his home, on Cooper Street near 13 Mile and Woodward Ave., was completely leveled. More than 30 nearby homes and businesses were also damaged in the blast.

The company admitted that its crews working in the area lead to the explosion and, in a statement out Friday, announced an undisclosed number people have been let go for failing to follow policies and procedures.

Crews replacing a gas main in his neighborhood may have damaged the line.  The company says it has resumed some projects that involve the same drilling method used in Royal Oak.

“We take our responsibility to protect our communities, customers and employees very seriously and are committed to a zero tolerance policy when it comes to their safety,” the utility said.

Consumers officials say they continue to be vigilant and proactive in taking steps to reassure the public, including making representatives available to meet with residents and businesses in a wider area around the site, identifying any concerns and offering additional safety

Consumers encourage citizens who smell “rotten eggs”  to  immediately call the utility from a safe location at 800-477-5050 to report the odor, as this is the number one defense against gas leaks.

Consumers is the main subsidiary of Jackson-based CMS Energy. It provides electricity and natural gas to nearly 7 million Michigan residents.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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