This week, a home in Howard County exploded suddenly and without warning, throwing the entire neighborhood into chaos and taking everything from many adjacent residents. Thanks to an internet user and neighbor who was paying attention, we have video that you won’t see on the news sites! You can’t account for your neighbor’s bad luck, which is why Columbia, MD Renters Insurance is so important.
The explosion fortunately happened in the early evening, when people were still awake. The toll could have been much higher if residents had been sleeping. It is alleged that the townhome unit that triggered the explosion suffered a gas leak. When it exploded, it set three further townhomes on fire. Remember that features such as firewalls are designed to protect you and your things in most situations, not all – they’re quite effective for a time in a garden variety fire, they’re rather less effective when an explosion flings flaming debris and damages the integrity of the firewalls.
The resident of the unit next door to the one that exploded came home, thought she smelled gas, and had the presence of mind to get out and call BGE. Unfortunately, that resident did not have time to warn neighbors before something sparked the leaking gas, creating a fireball the likes of which Columbia has not seen in some time. A total of six buildings were damaged to the point of being unsafe for habitation. At least six people are displaced, and the damage is expected to be at least two million dollars.
The BGE employee got at least twelve people out of the residences just before the explosion, and was likely able to save a number of lives by doing so. A cause for the leak that led to the explosion is not yet known.
One of the residents of a home that suffered damage took to social media, and there was a heartwarming outpouring of offers of assistance and sympathy. Via another source, but unconfirmed at this time, it is alleged that Howard County investigators have confirmed that the leak arose from a damaged gas assembly in the exploding unit’s garage which caused the leaks. There is no information available about the type of damage, or whether it was intentional, a result of mechanical failure, or something else.
Based on the information from that source, it appears that the leak and the explosion originated inside the home that exploded initially, and that this likely is not due to the aging gas delivery infrastructure or a fault at the utility. Further details are unknown at this time.
Columbia, MD Renters Insurance would cover the damage to property and offer liability coverage if the cause was accidental on the part of the resident whose home exploded and touched off the firestorm. If the damage was intentional, there would, of course, be no coverage. We’ll update this post as we learn more. We did promise you videos that you weren’t likely to see on the news, as well, and the second one is below. We have not rehosted them, these are courtesy of an internet user and available at his pleasure.
Columbia, MD Home Explodes (running to the scene)
Now you’ve seen firsthand what can happen from intentional acts, neglect, or just plain bad luck of your neighbors – and you’d have no idea what was going on until it was far too late.
Update #2: In reference to a comment we made above about aging gas delivery infrastructure, this is a serious problem and a serious risk to the public in many areas of the country. We’ve written previously about the dangers of old gas lines, as well as the dangers of gas leaks caused by negligent neighbors. We can’t emphasize the severity of this problem enough, and while work is underway in many parts of the country to replace the infrastructure, it’s a long term project – often spanning multiple decades. Until such time as those lines are replaced, in some parts of the country there remains a major risk of gas line explosion.
Effective Coverage offers the nation's only completely mobile platform to quote and purchase renters insurance right from your phone or tablet in just one minute. Get an online renters insurance quote today and protect your family.