March 05, 2010

News Release

For Immediate Release

Nov. 19, 2009 Explosion Investigation Completed

The Springfield Fire Department has completed its investigation and final report on the explosion that occurred Nov. 19, 2009, at 2550 W. Chestnut St.

After talking to the witnesses and examining the scene, the cause of the explosion and resulting fire was ruled undetermined. The shutoff valve to the gas meter was in the open position, and the shutoff valve to the disconnected water heater was in the open position. Natural gas from the open valve flowed into the living area of the residence until the lower explosive limit was reached. A possible ignition source was kerosene heaters.

Three possibilities remain:

Because the evidence found is not sufficient enough to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, prosecutors have declined to file charges in the case. If it is found that someone intentionally opened the gas valve, they could be charged with Causing Catastrophe, a Class A felony.

For more information, contact: Assistant Fire Chief Randy Villines, (417) 864-1500.

city of springfield fire

Springfield Fire Department

830 Boonville Ave., P.O. Box 8368, Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1500 • FAX: 417-864-1505 • springfieldmo.gov/fire