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Dobbin Explosion: Gas Blast Rips Apart Home, Injuring Three

Image: Dobbin Explosion: Gas Blast Rips Apart Home, Injuring Three The remnants of an early morning home explosion are seen Tuesday, June 11, 2013, in Dobbin, Texas.

By Clyde Hughes   |   Wednesday, 12 Jun 2013 07:16 AM

A gas explosion in Dobbin, Texas, a small town north of Houston in Montgomery County, ripped through a wood-framed house Tuesday morning, shaking neighbors and towns miles away, authorities said.

The Houston Chronicle reported that the blast critically injured three people – Jennifer Mock, 58; Lena Knight, 65; and Wyatt Mock, 18 months. A family member told the Chronicle that the Wyatt Mock was flown to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston suffering burns over most of his body.

"People were finding things from the house on top of the grocery store, in trees, and at least a half a mile away," Corbin Mock, a family member, told the Chronicle.

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Montgomery County Fire Marshal Jimmy Williams told the Chronicle the explosion was caused by liquid petroleum gas, spreading debris for blocks. KPRC-TV reported that the explosion rattled homes in upwards to 10 miles way.

"At this time, investigators suspect that the explosion resulted from a build-up of flammable gases in and around the home," according to a press release from the Montgomery County Fire Marshal's Office. "But the exact cause has not be determined at this time."

Williams told KHOU-TV that while a cause has not been officially determined, they will review all leads.

"We are looking at those (gas) systems, whether there was a leak, whether there was an ignition or how that ignition occurred, where that leak occurred? Obviously, was it in the house, was it at the tank? There are a lot of factors that will all be part of our investigation in the days to come," Williams said to KHOU.

Phyllis Hamilton, Knight's sister, told KPRC-TV that the explosion left here stunned.
"It's like shock. This home has been in our family for 60 years," Hamilton said. "They went to light the stove and it blew up."

"It scared me," neighbor Nikki Pollard, who lived near the blast, told the television station. "I thought we were going to war. I have no windows, all the metal stuff is buckled, blown out. Everything off the walls, off the shelves."

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Williams told the Chronicle that his office and the Texas Railroad Commission will investigate the accident. He said the commission is involved because it regulates liquefied petroleum gas in the state.

Dobbin is an unincorporated community in Northwest Montgomery County roughly 60 miles north of Houston.

Related stories:

Four Firefighters Die, 13 Injured Battling Large Houston Fire

Man Burns House Over Lawn That Neighbor Wouldn't Cut

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