WOODLAND HILLS—A Woodland Hills home was heavily damaged in a gas explosion and fire on Tuesday, June 20. At least one explosion was reported at about 7:40 p.m at a two-story mansion located at 4961 Marmol Drive, according to Amy Bastman, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD).
A third-party contractor and construction crew accidentally struck and damaged a natural gas line while doing sewer work, according to reports from the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas). The gas company was notified of the ruptured gas line at about 7:30 p.m.
A seven-year employee with the company responded to the broken gas line and urged the occupants, an elderly couple, to evacuate the home. A few moments later, the explosion occurred, and both floors of the house were engulfed in flames. According to a news release from the LAFD, responding firefighters attacked the flames from the outside, as the mansion was structurally compromised. Multiple gas lines were ruptured, threatening adjacent homes, according to officials.
“It is our safety concern to let that gas fire burn until we can get a controlled shut off,” LAFD Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Butler told KTLA. “Our fear is if we extinguish these gas leaks the gas will then travel to other areas and find another ignition source and set off another explosion.”
The flames continued to be fueled by the gas line. It took 59 firefighters one hour and 50 minutes to knock down the fire due to the continued burning gas line. The LAFD indicated there were initial reports of an explosion prior to the blaze; an uncontrolled gas line (unknown size) that was also burning was shut down by So Cal Gas Company. There were no reports of any injuries to civilians or firefighters during the incident.