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 –

Comments (67)
  1. jake49 says:

    O’bummer nation


    1. LarryG says:

      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.”

      1. Rowwdy says:

        @ 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.

      2. Susan See says:

        Uh, are you responding to the wrong article?

    2. CONNECTICUT SSN 042-68-4425 says:

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

      Here is a short article on Barry’s CONNECTICUT SSN fraud – http://www.cashill.com/intellect_fraud/another_look_at_obamas.htm

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

  3. Angry American waiting for Jan 2013 says:

    What he said

  4. Gone in 2012 says:

    Welcome to the Obama Economy

  5. Jax says:

    The USA has become an “Obama-nation”.



      It’s for the children…

      1. LarryG says:

        Diversity is just another word for disunity. Fail.

    2. Susan See says:

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

      1. David says:

        Go suck an egg

  6. Reality says:

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

  7. trudy says:

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

  8. Daviid says:

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

    1. O.k. Kerby says:

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

      1. Chuck_Indy says:

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

  9. ENCTARHEEL says:

    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

    1. Oshunvuz says:

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

  10. George Johnson says:

    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.

  11. John says:

    well at least everybody ignores the 3rd amendment

    1. Jerome from Layton says:

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

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


  13. Irish Shrugged says:

    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?

    1. Susan See says:

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

  14. Surprised says:

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

  15. RufusVonDufus says:

    Sounds more like Obama to me!

  16. Davec says:

    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.

    1. LarryG says:

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

    2. Mark Hillyard says:

      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.

      1. O.k. Kerby says:

        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.

      2. rob says:

        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

    3. Katz P. Ajamas says:


      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….


  17. Fanny Forbes Franklen says:

    Welcome to OmeriKa. Have a great day.

    ——————– http://911essentials.com

  18. Moemo says:

    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.

  19. Marine4RonPaul says:

    I can’t wait to vote for Ron Paul

  20. frank says:

    Obama’s America

  21. stan says:

    Meth heads.

  22. Mike Q says:

    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.

    1. Grape Ape says:

      Methyl mercaptan.

  23. jeffjjjj says:

    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!!!!!!!

  24. sueinmi says:

    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.

  25. Rowwdy says:

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

    1. Susan See says:

      Not abandoned. Says new owners were keeping it up.

  26. NowYouKnow says:

    Since when did they start using copper for gas pipes?

    1. Susan See says:

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

    2. O.k. Kerby says:

      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.

  27. Rick A Hyatt says:

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

  28. Jerome from Layton says:

    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.

  29. nightwriter says:

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

  30. Mike Alright says:

    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….

  31. No Friend of Big Ears says:

    Agh….the Great Sharia state of Michigan!

    1. O.k. Kerby says:

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

  32. D says:

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

  33. Eyeball says:

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

  34. Doug says:

    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.

  35. moonmac says:

    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!

  36. Thomas Oleksiak says:

    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.

  37. awojoone says:

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

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