Demo Crews Begin Tearing Down Homes Badly Damaged In Natural Gas Explosion

Tuesday, March 29th 2016, 12:31 pm

Three months after a massive natural gas explosion, demolition crews are starting to tear down homes that were too badly damaged to be repaired.

That explosion rocked the neighborhood near NW 122nd St. and Rockwell Ave. right after the first of the year. According to neighbors, 11 homes were destroyed in the explosion and will have to be torn down.

Twenty-five years of memories, now gone. That's how the owner of one of the homes describes watching as wrecking crews quickly tore down his house Tuesday. Those who lived in the home say it's emotional watching as crews go down the street tearing down home after home.

Michael Boyd's 80-year-old grandparents were some of the first to build here.

“Thirty plus years of memories, it’s the only house I’ve ever known mama and papa to be in,” said Boyd. “Lots of Christmases and backyard cookouts.”

Across the street, more homes, boarded up and abandoned, await a similar fate.

ONG says the natural gas explosion was due to a crack in a weld due to "poor workmanship". A spokesperson says they are working with homeowners and insurance companies on claims and have resolved matters with several homeowners and continue to work with them and their representatives.

But other residents say the aftershock of the explosion has been a huge financial loss. One homeowner tells us she's out $50,000 so far.

Fortunately for the Boyds, their son is an insurance agent and is guiding them through the process.

“They’re being made whole by the insurance company and then I know afterwards they’ll go after ONG for what’s due to them,” explained Boyd.

Meanwhile, the Corporation Commission is still conducting its own investigation into the root cause of the explosion and if proper procedures were followed before and after the explosion.

Initial reports showed that 55 homes suffered some type of damage. The hotline to make an ONG claim is 1-877-620-4193.

1/6/2016 Related Story: ONG Releases Preliminary Results Of Investigation Into NW OKC House Explosion