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Baltimore City remembers victims who died in house explosion one year ago

Explosion killed two people, damaged 200 homes
Posted at 10:12 AM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 10:13:42-04

BALTIMORE, Md. — Tuesday, August 10th marks one year since an explosion at a house on Labyrinth Road in northwest Baltimore killed two people, injured several others and reduced three homes to rubble.

Baltimore City officials will gather Tuesday morning to remember those who lost their lives and honor the first responders on the scene.

The explosion killed 20-year-old Joseph Graham Jr. and 61-year-old Lonnie Herriott.

It also caused damage to about 200 homes.

Many neighbors had their windows shattered or front doors broken by the blast.

Thirty people's houses were so badly damaged they also needed to find someplace else to live.

The explosion happened just before 10 o'clock in the morning, during the middle of the pandemic when many people might have been working from home.

An initial investigation by Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) found there were no gas leaks on its lines or reports of anyone smelling gas in the area.

Five months later in January 2021, Baltimore City Fire Chief Niles Ford revealed that a stove was the source of the explosion.

Ford had said there was a large buildup of natural gas inside one of the homes on Labyrinth Road, and that when the stove was turned on, it created the blast.

BGE conducted a meter reading on the home following the incident and found a spike in natural gas sometime between 1:30 and 2:00 in the morning of August 10th.

Investigators also learned a licensed contractor had been working on the home's HVAC system the day before.

An investigative report couldn't rule out that the work potentially caused an initial leak which may have led to a build up of natural gas.

Investigators also didn't rule out the possibility that someone created a leak by tampering with the gas piping.

Family members of Joseph Graham Jr. will be at the site of the explosion, along with Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Fire Chief Niles Ford and other city officials to unite a community still healing from the loss of two of their neighbors and the damage brought on by the explosion.