Consumers Energy Responds to Home Explosion in Royal Oak

Officials say workers were fixing gas mains in the area and are paying for hotels for displaced residents.

Residents of Cooper and Elmwood avenues in Royal Oak are being housed at the Quality Inn in Troy after an afternoon explosion that took the life of an adult male.

Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue confirmed a 58-year-old man was fatally injured in an explosion in the 4200 block of Cooper Avenue.

The man was found on the front lawn and is believed to have been inside the house at the time of the explosion, O'Donohue said.

“Our hearts go out to family members of the victim,” Debra Dodd of Consumers Energy told Patch.

Consumers Energy was in the neighborhood today working on a main replacement program, Dodd said. The incident is under investigation.

"We have to just basically sift through evidence. We have to try to recover the gas meter, if it's not too heavily damaged and then test the pipe leading to the home ... it could take weeks or months to determine what actually happened," Dodd told Fox 2.

Dodd confirmed the natural gas and electricity provider received a phone call at 4:55 p.m. of a possible explosion that destroyed one home, left two heavily damaged and many others with blown out windows and fatally injured one.

The gas was shut off at 6:37 p.m., according to Dodd, and residents living on Cooper and Elmwood avenues between Nakota and Massoit Road were sent to Troy. 

Workers are going door to door in the area checking for the presence of gas, she said.

“We are putting residents affected by the evacuation up at the Quality Inn, located at 2537 Rochester Ct. in Troy,” Dodd said. “Residents may check in. They will need to provide an ID that has a name and address.”

The Red Cross is on the scene to provide transportation to the hotel for individuals unable to get to their vehicles due to public safety barricades in the area.

The phone number for the Quality Inn is 248-689-7500.

THEODORE GIBSON February 28, 2013 at 02:59 AM
This story is misleading. It starts to imply Consumers Energy is to blame because they were working on gas mains in the area, yet their spokesman only mentions the free hotel room and never discusses any possible role. Also, the Quality Inn isn't that great...might as well just put them out on the street at that point. The QI isn't known for sophistication or even cleanliness. For as much revenue as Consumers rakes in every year they could at lease spring for something decent like the DoubleT ree or a Hilton.
Matt korczyk February 28, 2013 at 03:31 AM
Theodore, shut up. Please.
Jesse Williams February 28, 2013 at 04:14 AM
Ah Theodore... it's good to see that the trolls have settled in nicely around Patch.
J. Maxwell February 28, 2013 at 04:37 AM
Theodore, you're dispicable.
Cassey Dickson February 28, 2013 at 02:53 PM
My question is why di CE take almost 2 hours to shut off the gas in the area if they were notified almost immediately? And for anyone to blame CE right now is just premature. It could have been something else, not that I have any ideas. That had to be a huge build up of gas for it to have obliterated just the 1 home and damage the others. I believe if it was an outside gas issue the house would have been damaged and not removed from the site. If it was gas, I believe it had to have been within the home only for such an explosion. My prayers go out to the family of the deceased and the neighbors affected by this disaster.
Larry Fuller February 28, 2013 at 04:14 PM
This was a horrific event, the last time I heard of something like this happening was when someone wanted to die, they broke the stove gas line and flooded the home with natural gas and before she passed out lit a cigarette lighter, and the house blew up! I am not implying that this happened here, but you must look and investigate all the facts before accusing Consumers Energy workers. The emergency response was well organized, and the were generous to offer a Troy Hotel for nearby residents to stay in for the night. Wait and see who is responsible before accusing, the fire department and polic departments will investigate and make a determination, it may take a month or two.
Robin G. February 28, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Does anyone know what the address was? I used to live on that street.
Jan Smith February 28, 2013 at 11:03 PM
4232 Cooper.
Bill March 01, 2013 at 12:57 PM
It looks like CE is stepping up and doing what they can to assist the residents affected. Two different news sources have said CE is taking responsibility - that they have said their work nearby may have damaged the gas line to the house. In this day of litigation, that's pretty huge. Of course, they still have to verify the actual cause. Though it's very unfortunate that the homeowner lost his life, given the size of the explosion and the time of day, it's pretty amazing there weren't more injuries. Theodore... Somebody needs to eat more fiber...


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