Firefighters criticize, five others injured in an explosion southeast of Oak Cliff homes

Edited by 9:58 pm: It was developed to note that all the injured people were released from hospitals.

An explosion ripped through a house in southeastern Oak Cliff on Wednesday morning, injuring eight people – including firefighters – and leaving hundreds of homes.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans was reluctant to call the Highland Hills Apartments a gas explosion, saying investigators were still working to determine the cause. However, locals reported smelling of gas in the area the night before the explosion, he said.

Firefighters were called to the gas station at the 5700 block of Highland Hills Drive, near Simpson Stuart and Bonnie View streets, around 10:20 am Wednesday. They could smell gas near one of the buildings when they arrived, and an explosion occurred while they were exploring, Evans said.

Aerial photographs showed serious damage to a building on the compound, a corner of a two-story building destroyed and smoke billowed through a large hole in the roof. Damaged windows could be seen in nearby buildings, and explosions threw rubbish 20 to 30 yards away.

Evans said the west side of the building was severely damaged and charring from the resulting fire, making it unsafe for firefighters and other first responders to enter and thoroughly search. The fire was extinguished a day later, and in a statement released Wednesday, Evans said the building was demolished due to unrest.

“If you and people explode that he did so much damage with a two-story apartment, you can only begin to imagine that he also made a type that could wear a physical body,” Evans said.

But everyone in the exploding building was counted, officials said.

Evans failed to confirm that authorities had previously gone to a difficult location in the past to investigate reports of gas leaks.

On Wednesday morning, Atmos Energy issued a statement saying its employees did not experience any problems with its lines during the fire checks.

“After realizing that the gas capped meters provide a living room, our highly trained technicians began testing the safety of the Atmos Energy system,” he said utility in a statement. “Atmos Energy has shown that our system is working as expected, and we have not seen any indication that our system was involved.

“The safety of our community is our top priority, and our staff remain in place to work to assist emergency responders,” the statement said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the firefighters and the injured residents.”

They are injured

Three of the injured firefighters were in a critical but stable condition at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dr. Marshal Isaacs, medical director of Dallas Fire-Rescue, said at a news conference Wednesday. A fourth injured firefight was taken to hospital in critical condition and later released.

Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief Dominique Artis said at the same time a press conference that firefighters were able to speak to the injured firefighters, something he said was a good sign of their hope for a return.

On Wednesday morning, Evans said all the injured had been released from hospitals. Three of these people were in Parkland, Isaacs said. It was unclear where the fourth person was treated.

Members of the Dallas Fire-Rescue staff work on the scene of a house explosion and fire at Highland Hills Drive.(Tom Fox)

Artis said all the injured firefighters were from the same station and were working on the same equipment at the time.

The chief did not say which station the firefighters were from, but WFAA-TV (Channel 8) and KDFW-TV (Channel 4), citing chief of staff, said they were given Station 25, located in 2100 block of 56 Road, near Ledbetter Drive and Lancaster Road southwest. east Oak Cliff.

Artis said he was at the fire station giving workers a citation when he and his colleagues began to hear traffic radio about the fire.

“As with any adult, if you hear a Mayday call from firefighters, your heart sinks, because it means someone has been caught or injured,” he said. “Like firefighters, muscular memories begin, our training.

“Our men and women were brave in their efforts today,” he said. “Those who are coming along with help from the common people, I feel, have also been able to help us get our parents out of the garbage. We will be praying, and we ask each of you to pray for these members. ”

Jim McDade, president of the Dallas Fire Fighters Association, said the department sends staff to stand and watch near the rooms of Parkland Memorial Hospital as firefighters are still in it.

“The whole department is throwing their support behind the boys here,” he said. “We will make sure that they and their families are taken care of during this difficult time.”

‘Like a … horror movie’

Paul Randall, who lives in a neighboring building, said he saw a fire extinguisher fleeing from the building when it exploded.

“All his clothes and the whole house were on fire,” Randall said.

Synicia Johnson was at home with her 17-year-old son in a nearby building at the time of the explosion.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans spoke to reporters following a house explosion Wednesday.
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans spoke to reporters following a house explosion Wednesday.(Tom Fox / Photo Staff)

“I heard the sound of a boom, and I ran outside to see what was going on,” he said, adding that he saw injured people. “It’s like a horror movie.”

T’mya and Christina Sanders, who live in the vicinity of Mountain Creek Apartments, said their house was shaken and their belongings were shaken from the blast. They saw smoke and fire coming out of the building like a firefighter limping down the street.

Mayor Eric Johnson, who arrived at the scene early Wednesday afternoon, said, “It looks ugly, smelly – a serious fire.”

“Please pray for firefighters and civilians who have been injured,” Johnson said in a Twitter post calling the blast a “horrific situation.”

Councilor Tennell Atkins, whose county includes the apartment building, said his office down the street was closed at 11 a.m. due to the explosion.

Atkins and Johnson said the city was working to provide resources for residents who had left their homes.

The American Red Cross was assisting those who had left their homes and exploded in fires.
The American Red Cross was assisting those who had left their homes and exploded in fires.(KXAS-TV (NBC5))

“There are a lot of residents who are probably in need of this right now,” Atkins said. “People living in an apartment have nowhere to go.”

At around 7pm on Wednesday, American Red Cross spokeswoman Krystal Smith said more than 222 people had been left homeless as workers worked to ensure the area was safe before other residents returned. By 9 p.m., however, the Dallas Fire-Rescue Evans released a news release outlining the total number of evacuees of about 300.

The Red Cross has set up a reception area at the Tommy M. Allen Recreation Center on Bonnie View Road to help refugees, Smith said.

Officials did not know how many apartments were damaged.

In a written statement, Philadelphia-based Mountain Creek Apts LP, the owner of the complex, said it was “in the process of gathering information and waiting for the fire department to determine the cause of the explosion”.

Property managers have been working to find accommodation for residents who have left their homes, the statement said.

Exterior windows are visible in a nearby building following the explosion of a flat in the 5700 block of Highland Hills Drive.
Exterior windows are visible in a nearby building following the explosion of a flat in the 5700 block of Highland Hills Drive.(Tom Fox / Photo Staff)

Some current explosion

Although the cause of the explosion has not yet been resolved, officials worried that it may be the cause of the natural gas spill.

“In the case of gas leaks, that’s something we have to be very serious about, looking inside and understanding why it happened,” the mayor said.

Between 2006 and 2018, more than a dozen homes across North and Central Texas exploded as a result of natural gas spills, an investigation conducted. The Dallas Morning News to be found. Nine people were killed and at least 22 were injured in the blast.

Among those killed was 12-year-old Linda “Michellita” Rogers. His family’s house in the 3500 block of Espanola Drive exploded in early February 23, 2018, the morning after Atmos was inspecting and fixing a fall in a roadway facing the house.

Atmos received another 28 drops in the area in the days following the worst eruption.

Federal investigators later found that Atmos had been aware of air leaks in the northwest of the Dallas region for more than seven weeks in an explosion that killed Rogers.

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