DALLAS (CBSFW.COM) – Questions, fears and prayers after a mysterious explosion at an apartment complex in South Dallas, seriously injured eight people, including four Dallas firefighters, Wednesday, September 29.
A Highland Hills Apartments building has partially collapsed and will be demolished.
A natural gas leak was reported at the time, but Wednesday night Atmos Energy insisted its system was functioning properly.
Sources told CBS 11 that two of the three firefighters are still hospitalized in intensive care with severe second degree burns.
They are receiving the best possible care in the Burns Unit at Parkland Hospital as the investigation continues into what led to the explosion.
The four injured civilians were released from the hospital on Wednesday evening.
For the residents of the apartment complex who were not injured, it was also a traumatic time.
Paul Randall grabbed his 2 month old baby and started running after 10:00 a.m.
“When I got out I thought every unit was about to start to explode, which is why I started running up the hill,” Randall said.
Her family are among 200 displaced people from their units who depend on the Red Cross for dinner and temporary accommodation.
“We don’t even know we’re going to be staying out tonight,” he said. “We don’t even know where we’re going to lay our heads tonight.”
Resident Lekeisha Williams suffered cuts from the explosion which she said occurred after Dallas firefighters responded to concerns about the smell of natural gas and attempted to break into a unit.
“One of the first responders, she went to the fire engine to get something out of there, I guess, to open the door to get in,” Williams said. “As soon as she did that to the door, the apartment blew up.”
Four firefighters were rushed to Parkland Hospital where they were initially listed in critical condition.
But the city’s fire chief revealed that they would all have to survive with the other injured.
“There is no such thing as a routine call and at any time the health and safety of our brave men and women can be endangered,” said Chief Dominique Artis.
The city of Dallas promised an investigation in a statement.
Atmos Energy deflects the blame in a statement:
This morning, Atmos Energy was called by Dallas Fire-Rescue to the scene of an apartment complex on Highland Hills Drive in Dallas. After verifying that the gas was turned off at the meter that supplies the apartment complex, our highly trained technicians began to perform safety checks of the Atmos Energy system. Atmos Energy has verified that our system is working as expected, and we have not found any indication that our system is involved.
The city is encouraging those interested in helping affected families to donate to the Red Cross from the Dallas Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund.