Suits Settled, Concerns Persist 6 Months After 8-Year-Old Boy Dies In Gas Explosion

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It was six months ago that an eight-year-old boy died when a gas explosion caused a house to collapse on top of him. Now the child’s father is speaking out as the family settles a lawsuit with BGE.

Meghan McCorkell reports from East Baltimore, where neighbors are still haunted by what happened.

The family of eight-year old Troy Douglas sued BGE, claiming the company failed to maintain its gas lines, causing their son’s death.

“The side of the house just blew up and children were walking by,” said one caller to 911.

Panicked calls for help came as bystanders frantically dug through rubble. Buried underneath was the body of eight-year-old Troy Douglas, who was walking home from school.

Now, six months later, the shell of the house still remains. It’s a constant reminder of the devastating loss Troy Douglas Sr. still feels.

“That’s all it makes me think about,” Douglas Sr. said.

With his son’s picture on his dashboard, he’s forced to drive by the scene every day.

“Not a day goes by that we don’t talk about him or think about him,” he said.

His family has now settled a lawsuit with BGE after an investigator’s report obtained by WJZ revealed the cause of the explosion was “natural gas coming in contact with an ignition source.”

In a statement, a BGE spokesperson says in part: “The death of a child is always a tragic situation. The resolution of the suits are confidential and the parties have no further comments.”

Two people were actually inside the home at the time of the explosion. They’ve also now settled lawsuits with BGE.

But neighbors are still unsettled, saying gas problems in the area are not resolved.

“We still smell gas around here sometimes. So they still haven’t found out exactly where it’s coming from,” one neighbor said.

“This type of stuff here brings fear,” said Carlton Legrand.

Fear that another young life could be taken by tragedy.

Neighbors say they’ve been told the house will be torn down next month.

BGE says it plans to replace all of the gas equipment in the area of the explosion starting next year.

In the meantime, anyone who smells gas is asked to contact BGE immediately. Crews will respond within an hour.

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