Fire Officials: Deadly Omaha house explosion was an accident

Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Fire officials say an explosion that leveled an Omaha house and killed one person was an accident.

Property inspector Clara Bender died at a hospital following the Monday afternoon blast that also heavily damaged four adjacent homes and injured two other people.

In a report released Wednesday, interim Omaha Fire Chief Dan Olsen says the gas started flowing into the house on Saturday after people moving a clothes dryer didn’t properly shut off a natural gas line to the appliance.

Authorities say the movers reported the smell of gas to the tenant, who called Bender’s cellphone and left a message to report the gas smell. Officials say it’s not known whether Bender received the message before she entered the house on Monday.