Investigators still looking for answers in North City home explo - KMOV.com

Investigators still looking for answers in North City home explosion

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Police are still investigating a North St. Louis home explosion that damaged two other neighboring homes. (Credit: KMOV) Police are still investigating a North St. Louis home explosion that damaged two other neighboring homes. (Credit: KMOV)
NORTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -

It's been nearly three weeks since a home in North St. Louis exploded, damaging two other homes in the neighborhood and leaving a family with nowhere to go.

Last month, a vacant home on Oriole in the New Baden neighborhood exploded and the pile of rubble still remains. Next door, Tira Scales home is also damaged and the city condemned it.

“The foundation is really shot, the roof all the way around the ceiling is cracked,” said Scales.

Scales and her two children are now homeless, bouncing between family members. She’s thankful they weren’t injured in the explosion but she is losing her patience. Nearly three weeks after the explosion and the rubble is still leaning against her home and her insurance assessor can’t come to survey the damage.

“Who’s going to pick up these pieces because I still have a mortgage I have to pay and now I have to look for somewhere else to stay?” she said.

To make matters worse, thieves are preying on her empty house.

“They broke into my home last week, after the fact, and stole my plumbing. I’m not sure what went wrong over [at the vacant house] but I do know they went in my home last week and when I came in water was everywhere,” she said.

Scales said vandals had broken into the vacant house before. Investigators from the St. Louis Fire Department say they are still working to determine a cause, but a gas explosion seems likely.

In the past, they have seen gas leaks after thieves have stolen the copper pipes. An excavator will come in the next two weeks to dig through the rubble and look for clues into the exact cause.

Once the investigation is complete, they can begin hauling away the debris.

Scales is hopeful that happens sooner rather than later and that her family will eventually be able to move back into their home.

“I love living here I don’t want to leave, I picked this home I chose this home,” she said

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