Inspired by the On Fire thread . . . gas explosion in Lexington

  1. Gas Explosion Destroys Part Of Lexington's History

    (CBS4) LEXINGTON The explosion at 3 Hancock Avenue early Wednesday morning apparently caused by a gas leak quickly engulfed the historic home in flames and destroyed it.

    The house which is owned by an orthopedic surgeon was built in 1865. It's a mansard-style home that graced Hancock Avenue in the historic district.

    "It's not very prevalent in Lexington," said Lester Savage, of the Lexington Historical Society. "This is a neighborhood that's got about a half dozen of them. Very special, beautiful homes."

    Little remains from the floorplan of the home. The pink portion is the garage, which is the only part standing. But what makes the Mansard-style home unique is the top floor.

    "You can distinguish one by the roofline," said Savage. "They tend to have a third floor that's in the roofline."

    Lexington is a town rich in history. Two doors down is the Hancock-Clarke House, where founding father John Hancock once stayed.

    "The night of April 19, John Hancock and William Dawes were hiding out from the British," said Peter Kelley, Lexington Selectman. When Paul Revere said the British were coming, John Hancock was sleeping there and they were able to get escape."

    According to the fire department, a boy in that home heard a 'pop', smelled gas and exited the home. The house exploded as he walked outside, where his mother was in the yard. Both ran from the scene with minor injuries.

    Firefighters from Lexington, Concord, Bedford and Waltham worked to bring the fire under control in about an hour, but there was nothing left but a burnt pile of rubble. Homes on each side of the house did not appear to be damaged.

    Chief Middlemiss says he was informed by Keyspan that they over-pressurized the system at some point Wednesday morning, leading to the explosion. Several other homes in town had to be evacuated, and were in danger of exploding.

    This happened in November of 2005.

    The mother was outside raking leaves at the time. Both she and her college age son were both hit by flying debris, but they were fine.

    Given the location of the Starbucks where I worked, I could see black smoke billowing from trees on the horizon. The house was just on the other side of town from Starbucks.

    We gave Keyspan a LOT of free coffee that week! - Gas Explosion Destroys Part Of Lexington's History
  2. Geez that was a close call for the of him to walk out when he heard the pop. Knowing me I would have gone in search for where the sound came from. But then again if I smelled gas I would have probably run out... hope.