Latest News

Gas leak suspected in Wells Street home explosion

What is believed to be a gas explosion at a Morgantown residence Wednesday morning sent multiple people to the hospital and left the home with structural damage. 

One worker and three residents were said to be inside the home at the time of the explosion – all were able to get out prior to the arrival of emergency services.  

“Luckily, nobody was horribly hurt,” said Morgantown Fire Department Lt. John Moore, “but a couple people were rushed to the hospital.” 

As of Wednesday afternoon, two of the residents had been released from the hospital. The third was said to have suffered significant burns, but the extent of her injuries is unknown. 

The official cause of the explosion is still under investigation, but firefighters on scene believed a gas leak in the 727 Wells St. home was likely ignited when one someone attempted to light a candle.  

Moore could not speculate on an exact cause, but said, “For the amount of damage and what happened – something substantial was lit.” 

The home itself did not collapse following the burst but incurred significant visible structural damage. The outer walls of the residence are now slanted outward from the bottom and no longer flush with the foundation. Debris was scattered around the area, including window frames, a television that had been thrown into the yard and one of the support columns on the front porch was blown across the street. 

Homes on either side of the explosion site appeared undamaged. 

Two college students who live three doors down from the explosion site said they felt the floors and walls of their residence shake but did not immediately realize an explosion had occurred. 

“We came outside and saw paramedics running down the street, so we knew something bad had happened,” they said. 

When MFD arrived on the scene there was no visible smoke or flames coming from the structure and all residents were confirmed to be outside, Moore said.  

“Luckily everyone was out and breathing,” he said. 

Firefighters then began securing the area around the home and deployed hose lines to the rear of the house in case of an undetected fire. 

“Everybody performed very well,” Moore said. “I’m proud of the guys at the fire department. You know, we got there, did what we needed to do, got the appropriate resources and mitigated something that could have been catastrophic.” 

As of Wednesday afternoon, West Virginia State Fire Marshals were on scene investigating the official cause. Crews from Hope Gas turned off service and were checking the area for any potential leaks or problems.