Firefighters give safety advice as the investigation into a Richmond house explosion continues
The community is still waiting to learn what caused an explosion and fire at a home in Richmond. The blast early Tuesday morning at a Quayle Road residence killed two people. Investigators had not yet released their identities as of late Wednesday.
A team of firefighters and emergency management staff was back out at the scene in Richmond on Wednesday morning, searching for the cause.
The explosion raises questions about safety in your home. Could you be at risk of something like this happening to you and what should you do if, for example, you smell gas in your home?
Nationally statistics show home gas explosions are rare, but it is not uncommon to smell gas in your home.
Rodd Riesenberger is a battalion chief with the Ridge Road Fire District in Monroe County. He says if you smell gas, don't take any chances.
"Don't use light switches, don't use your telephone, just get up and get out and call 911 from a neighbor's phone," he said.
Ontario County officials are looking at everything in Tuesday's explosion to determine the cause.
"We're looking at each of the potential ignition sources — those would be stoves, water heaters, anything that would come on at that time of the morning," said Ontario County Fire Coordinator and Emergency Manager Jeff Harloff. "Those are the things we're looking at first, and looking at if the victims may have had any impact or may have had any activity at the same time as the explosion."
Reisenberger says one of the main causes of gas leaks are improperly installed appliances. He says even if you have a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide detector in your home, they may not be enough to detect a gas leak.
"Carbon monoxide alarms do not sense natural gas or propane. That would require a different alarm, called a gas alarm. Many RVs come standard with a gas alarm, homes generally do not. There [are] lots of different choices out there. Your local hardware store has plenty to pick from," he said.