On the afternoon of Aug. 17, Jose Aguirre wasn’t feeling well.
He had been sick for almost two weeks. A doctor said he had walking pneumonia, a diagnosis that explained the stuffed-up nose Aguirre had been suffering from.
His nose couldn’t tell him that there was a natural gas leak in his house at 718 E. Hanson Ave. in Mitchell. When he turned on his stove, the subsequent explosion did.
It’s difficult to know if the kind of house explosions that killed a Menno woman and severely injured a Mitchell man this summer could have been prevented.
But there were hints that such horrific incidents were about to happen. Shortly after the explosions, NorthWestern Energy released information showing gas usage in each home spiked between the last reading and explosions.
The gas usage of two area houses involved in recent natural gas explosions jumped between the last reading and the time of the explosions, according to a representative from NorthWestern Energy.
Tom Glanzer, NorthWestern Energy spokesman, said he could not release exact figures because of the company’s policy regarding customer information, but he said Wednesday that usage definitely increased in the time leading up to house explosions in Mitchell and Menno.
View your ad here! Cost effective targeted advertising. Contextual advertising starting as low as $79/month. This includes targeted ad delivery and search results! Add your business to the Marketplace »