Open natural gas outlet caused Santa Maria house explosion

August 25, 2023


Fire investigators determined an open natural gas outlet caused the explosion on Wednesday that destroyed a Santa Maria house and damaged more than 20 nearby homes, eight of which have since been red-tagged. 

The natural gas explosion occurred at about 12:10 p.m. in the kitchen at a house located at 1219 Jackie Lane. The explosion, which injured four people, was accidental in nature. Investigators identified multiple sources of ignition capable of igniting the natural gas in the house, according to the city of Santa Maria. 

Responders extricated a woman from inside the home that was destroyed. Another person was extricated from an adjacent home, while two other individuals were extricated from a house behind the one that exploded. 

The four individuals received medical treatment. Their current conditions are unclear. 

Officials determined 24 homes, including the destroyed one, sustained damage. The damage ranged from total loss to minor issues, such as broken windows. The house at 1223 Jackie Lane, located next door to the one that exploded, sustained heavy damage, affecting about 75% of the structure. 

Preliminary estimates indicate $440,000 of damage occurred to the structure at 1219 Jackie Lane. Additionally, $100,000 worth of belongings at the home were damaged or destroyed.

The property at 1223 Jackie Lane sustained an estimated $425,000 in structural damage. It had $75,000 worth of destroyed or damaged belongings. 

Officials are still calculating damage estimates for the remaining 22 homes. The city of Santa Maria thanks everyone who contributed to the aid effort in the aftermath of the explosion. 

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