An explosion in Grandview, Texas destroyed a home and took a life last Saturday evening. Many residents of Johnson and Hill Counties in Texas were woke up that night to a loud noise. They were not sure what it was. Some wondered if a small earthquake had taken place. Others speculated that it may have been a loud clap of thunder. One resident in the Johnson county town of Keene wondered if a vehicle had crashed into their newly purchased manufactured home. Local law enforcement agencies were flooded with calls of people inquiring as to the source of the noise. Unfortunately, the ultimate answer was an explosion worse than anyone could have even imagined.
The charred body of a 62-year-old woman was located last Sunday in the debris of what had been her three story log cabin style residence. Late Saturday night, a sudden and unexpected explosion completely destroyed the home and scattered it in pieces. Aerial photographs made available by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department showed that nothing was left of the house except for shards of insulation and a deteriorating foundation. Wanda Buckley Davis was in her bedroom when it happened.
When the explosion occurred at close to 11 p.m. on Saturday night, Davis’s neighbors knew that something had taken place in their area and began searching the area. It did not take them long to discover what had actually taken place.
Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford told reporters that a brief investigation had been performed by his department in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The investigation revealed that the explosion was, in all probability, caused by water heaters igniting a propane leak. Alford said that they did not suspect foul play.
Originally, it was believed that Davis and her husband, Gary Wagoner were both out of town and therefore, it was first reported that there were no injuries. But in the early afternoon on Sunday, Davis’ body was found among the rubble.
Wagoner was in North Carolina on business when the explosion happened. He was ultimately reached and immediately began making arrangements to head home.
A representative of Yellow Rose Propane in nearby Cleburne, Texas told news reporters that for the house to have an explosion of that magnitude, the leak either had to be rather large or had been going on for an extended period of time.
The Texas Railroad Commission, who also has people investigating as to whether or not there were any issues of non-compliance.
The Railroad Commission said that a specific agent is often mixed in with propane to give it a very distinct smell. When added to propane to it gives it a very pungent smell. For that reason, those involved in investigation of the scene believe that Davis may have had issues with her ability to smell. Her family had confirmed that she did indeed have problems with her sense of smell. The propane representative told reports that for someone not to smell the pungent odor, there would either have to be problems with their sense of smell or they would have to be asleep.
Grandview is located around 30 miles south of Fort Worth and approximately 60 miles from Dallas.
By Rick Hope