SoCal Gas Worker Told Homeowners to Leave Before Dangerous Gas Blast: First Responders

A broken gas line caused the explosion and fire at the Woodland Hills home

First responders were praising a SoCal Gas worker Tuesday night after he urged homeowners out of a Woodland Hills house moments before a gas explosion and fire gutted the structure.

At least one explosion was reported at the two-story home at 4961 Marmol Drive, south of Ventura Boulevard, according to Amy Bastman of the Los Angeles Fire Department, who said the fire broke out about 7:40 p.m.

Preliminary reports indicated a third-party contractor was doing sewer work when it hit and damaged a natural gas service line, according to Chris Gilbride of Southern California Gas.

When Jeff Catton, a seven-year veteran of SoCal Gas, responded to the broken gas line, firefighters said he wisely refused to enter the house and told the homeowners to leave.

Moments later, neighbors said the blast sent home furnishings and pieces flying from the structure.

Catton did not comment on his actions Tuesday night, but first responders are crediting him for saving the lives of the couple who lived in the home.

There were no reports of injuries.

It took 59 firefighters an hour and 50 minutes to knock down the blaze due to the continued burning gas line, Bastman said.

The house was engulfed in flames after reports of an initial explosion. The gas line was shut down by Southern California Gas, she said.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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