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Gas crews found no leaks before blast that leveled Kansas City house

The morning after a house exploded at 7704 E. 113th St., debris was all that remained. Kansas City firefighters investigated the scene near the intersection of 113th and Ruskin Way.
The morning after a house exploded at 7704 E. 113th St., debris was all that remained. Kansas City firefighters investigated the scene near the intersection of 113th and Ruskin Way. The Kansas City Star

Missouri Gas Energy workers did not find any gas leaks when they checked gas odor reports in a Ruskin Heights neighborhood hours before a house exploded on the block Wednesday night, a utility spokeswoman said Thursday.

Utility representatives received four calls concerning odors in the neighborhood Wednesday. Two came from the same person at the same location.

After each call, crews responded with equipment that can detect natural gas in the air, soil and sewers.

“Each time we got a zero reading for natural gas,” Jenny Gobble, a spokeswoman for Laclede Group Inc., said in a written statement. Laclede is MGE’s parent company.

The utility never received a call concerning the house that exploded, Gobble said.

At 8:11 p.m. Wednesday, the utility received an alert from the Kansas City Fire Department regarding the home explosion. When crews arrived at 7704 E. 113th St., firefighters already had shut off gas at the address, Gobble said.

“Tests performed on the natural gas pipeline leading to the house showed no leaks,” she said. “Early indications show that this explosion does not appear to be related to the malfunction of any MGE equipment.”

Crews also checked a six-house radius Thursday for any sign of natural gas leaks and found none, Gobble said.

The Kansas City Bomb and Arson Unit is investigating the blast, which destroyed a vacant home and injured a person in a neighboring home.

To reach Brian Burnes, call 816-234-4120 or send email to bburnes@kcstar.com.

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