Investigators say cause of house explosion was natural gas leak - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Investigators say cause of house explosion was natural gas leak

(Source: Navarro County Office of Emergency Management) (Source: Navarro County Office of Emergency Management)
NAVARRO COUNTY, TX (KXXV) -

Investigators said that the cause of the explosion was a natural gas leak under the home. 

The explosion happened about 11 p.m. at a home in the 500 block of West Highway 31 in Dawson.

Richard Raines, who lives down the block, was in bed when his home shook. He thought a bomb exploded.

"There was a large boom," he said.

The noise was so loud he immediately reacted.

"We got up to see what happened. Got up to the end of the road. Dwain's house was gone," Raines said.

His elderly neighbors' home was destroyed. It suddenly exploded while they were getting ready for bed.

"I hoped they're alright, because it didn't look good. And we got out and started to try to find people to see if they was OK. And we found the two in the front room. They told us about the three that was in the back, that they didn't know exactly where they was," he said.

With walls collapsing, pieces of wood ripped apart, and debris scattered everywhere, Raines and his family didn't think twice about digging through the rubble to find their neighbors.

"I actually went off in the middle of the house and got somebody ... that was the only way you could get to them. I just laid there with her until they moved others out of the way and was able to move debris and be able to get to her and get her out," Raines' nephew Ryan Foreman said.

Raines said even with all the dangers he and his family could have encountered, they would do it all over again.

"You're supposed to go help people. ... I've known them a long time and I used to live by them for a  while. They needed help. You're gonna help," he said.

"If I was in that house, or if my family was in that house, I would want people in there trying to help get them out and that's what we were trying to do," Foreman added.

At last check, homeowners Cathy Spruiell and her husband Dwain Spruiell were stable at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

William Gilcoat and Margaret Gilcoat-Rowland were also in the home. Police have not identified the last person. One of them is still at Parkland. 

Two other people in the home were sent to Navarro Regional. They were treated for minor injuries and have been released.

There was a small fire inside the home after the explosion, but it was quickly extinguished, Tanner said.

Highway 31 in Dawson was closed in both directions for several hours. It was reopened just after 1:30 a.m. Friday.

Members of the Navarro County Sheriff's Office, Dawson Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Corsicana Fire Department, and other agencies responded to the scene.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with medical expenses. 

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