BALTIMORE (WJZ) — All the victims of the explosion that rocked a neighborhood in northwest Baltimore in October have recovered from their injuries, Baltimore City Fire Chief Niles Ford said during an update Tuesday.
The fire in the 4600 block of Lanier Avenue in October left five people, including two children, hurt.
Ford said the origin of the fire was at 4633 Lanier Avenue. There had been a gas issue in a closet where the gas meter was located.
“All indicators point the origin was a closet where the gas meter was located in front of 4633 Lanier Avenue,” Ford said.
When asked if a malfunctioning gas meter in the closet was to blame, Ford said there was damage to several meters, so he could not say for certain but also said it couldn’t be ruled out.
“We were not able to gather all of the data on that gas meter to come conclusive on that,” Ford added.
Months later, 11 families still are dealing with the damage.
— Rachael Cardin (@RachaelCardin) February 23, 2021
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Domonique Wright said her 4-year-old son, Raheem, still has nightmares about the explosion.
“He said there was a flash of light and then it went boom,” Wright said. “He said he just remembers us trying to find him and getting him out.”
Raheem had to get stitches on his arm. Wright’s boyfriend’s 3-year-old son, D.J., broke his femur.
Months later, the homes most affected sit boarded up and vacant.
“Every time I ride past there I still get sad I cry about it because there are so many different things that could have happened,” Wright said.
Mayor Brandon Scott said community efforts were a huge help after the explosion. He thanked the rec center in the neighborhood, all those who donated and the medical staff who screened victims for COVID-19. Churches nearby who collected food also pitched in, for which the mayor said he was grateful.
BGE released a statement in response to the announcement:
“Following the incident in the 4600 block of Lanier Ave. on October 11, 2020, BGE crews worked throughout the night to canvass the area and found no readings of gas. Gas service pipes leading to the homes were pressure tested by BGE crews overnight under the oversight of Maryland Public Service Commission inspectors and were found to have no leaks. BGE’s records for this area show no recent leaks, no repairs or active project work and no gas odor calls in the last 12 months.
While the Baltimore City Fire Department has indicated the origin of the explosion was in an area where the gas meter was located, the specific cause of the explosion has not been determined. Soon after the incident, BGE retrieved the meters- which were heavily damaged due to the fire- at the homes involved. Additionally, gas appliances and other customer-owned equipment, including interior piping, were also collected. These items are being examined to determine if they were a factor in this incident. BGE’s investigation is ongoing.
As always, if customers have any gas safety concerns, get to a safe location and report it to BGE immediately by calling (877) 778-7798 or by calling 911. BGE will respond 24 hours a day to investigate and make the situation safe. For additional information about gas safety and what to do in a gas emergency visit bge.com/gassafety.”
Correction: In an earlier version of this story we said the gas issue was the cause of the explosion. At this time, it’s a possibility, but has not officially been determined the cause.