CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A home explosion that killed a woman and injured her husband in Ballantyne earlier this month was caused by an internal gas leak, according to the Ballantyne Residential Property Owners Association.
In a letter sent to residents, the organization said the Charlotte Fire Department had finished their investigation and determined the explosion was caused by an gas leak inside the home.
The Charlotte Fire Department has not yet released their findings publicly and calls to the fire department Tuesday were not returned.
Excavation crews will work this week to dig up and remove the internal gas system from the property.
Previous investigations have lead Piedmont Natural Gas to conclude the source was likely inside the home. The company said their equipment leading into the home appeared safe.
Officials are continuing to reiterate that gas lines in the neighborhood pose no risk to the community.
The explosion happened on James Jack Lane near the Ballantyne Country Club on July 2. The specific source of the leak and ignition have not been determined but could have come from a source such as an appliance.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police identified the victim killed as 58-year-old Rania Karam. Her husband, Jebran Karam, was miraculously able to call 911 and directed firefighters to his location in the rubble.
Fire department investigators said Karam told fire responders he smelled an odor before the explosion. PNG spokesperson Tammie McGee said the odorant is put in the natural gas so people can recognize a potential leak and leave the area.
"Get out at that moment," McGee said referring to the moment when the odor is detected. "Go across the street, go to a neighbor, call 911 or call Piedmont (800-752-7504). You don't want to flick a switch, light a match or even use your cell phone in that vicinity."