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Gas meter may have caused Baltimore apartment explosion that injured five last year

Posted at 12:23 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 09:00:19-05

BALTIMORE — An October 2020 home explosion that injured five people in Baltimore may have been caused by a gas meter inside a closet, according to Baltimore City Fire officials.

The three alarm fire which first broke out at 4633 Lanier Avenue, damaged multiple neighboring apartments and left several families homeless.

“All indicators point the origin was a closet where the gas meter was located in front of 4633 Lanier Avenue,” said City Fire Chief Niles Ford.

All five victims including two children have since recovered from their injuries.

But currently, the homes remain severely damaged and inhabitable.

Mayor Brandon Scott said community efforts were a huge help following the explosion. He thanked the neighborhood rec center, all those who donated, and medical staff who responded to the incident.

RELATED: Family tells story of surviving possible apartment explosion

At the time of the explosion, BGE said there were no records of any gas issues in the area.

They again issued a similar statement Tuesday.

“Following the incident in the 4600 block of Lanier Ave. on October 11, 2020, BGE crews worked throughout the night to canvass the area and found no readings of gas. Gas service pipes leading to the homes were pressure tested by BGE crews overnight under the oversight of Maryland Public Service Commission inspectors and were found to have no leaks. BGE’s records for this area show no recent leaks, no repairs or active project work and no gas odor calls in the last 12 months."

Ford said several meters including the one inside the closet were damaged and unreadable, meaning it's uncertain if the meter was the cause.

“We were not able to gather all of the data on that gas meter to come conclusive on that,” Ford said.

Meanwhile BGE says they're examining gas appliances and other customer-owned equipment, including interior piping, that were collected at the scene to determine if they were a factor in this incident.