neighbors

Law enforcement, neighbors, and Atmos work crews gathered Saturday at a cookout organized to provide a hot meal to residents without natural gas, and to thank law enforcement and work crews (photo by Bethany Erickson).

I’ll be honest. At first, when I first had the idea of writing about how the neighborhoods impacted by the deadly home explosion two weeks ago — and the aftermath — I was thinking of a straight news story.

But I realized fairly quickly that I couldn’t. You see, I know these neighborhoods. My child goes to school with the children from these neighborhoods, and for almost 10 years, I lived quite close to one of the neighborhoods and in the other one, on a street just a block from Marsh Lane.

These are my friends, my son’s friends, and my neighbors. And how they’re dealing with the turmoil and sadness is a story worth telling — but one wholly unsurprising to anyone who lives in either of the neighborhoods that hug Marsh Lane. (more…)

Megan Anderson's wall exploded because of gas seeping into her home from the soil. (Photo: WFAA)

Megan Anderson’s wall exploded because of gas seeping into her home from the soil. (Photo: WFAA)

When you smell gas in your home and report it to Atmos, what’s the first thing they tell you to do?

Get out of the house.

So when Megan Anderson was busy doing the dishes in the kitchen of her Lakewood home on Jan. 5, she didn’t smell the gas that had been filling a wall between her kitchen and her living room. She didn’t know to get out of the house. She didn’t know not to touch the switch on the garbage disposal that ended up igniting the gas and blowing a hole in her wall.

So why didn’t Megan smell the gas? Why didn’t she know to get out?

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This is just strange. Folks up in this nice, relatively quiet Plano neighborhood got a bit freaked out — understandably so  — over a strange series of events that involve an injured man and a possible bomb explosion near an Atmos natural gas control station in the 3600 block of West Parker Road overnight.

First police got 911 calls about gunshots heard in the area. Then when police arrived at the scene, neighbors said they heard the sound of a bomb going off — rattling windows and everyone. One guy said it sounded like a thrown grenade.

Honestly, I don’t think I’d know what a thrown grenade sounds like. Would you?

Then there’s the severely injured man, who claimed he was hit by a car, but who looked more like he had an explosive blow up on him. Like something went wrong. Neighbors found him  stumbling, bleeding profusely, and screaming for help. He told police he’d been hit by a car, but that didnt jive with his injuries.  Next neighbors called Atmos Energy when they heard a hissing sound coming from a natural gas pressure control station. FBI agents and Atmos inspectors found no evidence of tampering.

Still, if I lived in that ‘hood, and I have friends who do, I’d be popping a couple Xanex and demanding some answers.