LIMA — The investigation into the house explosion that occurred Oct. 23 at 4230 Slabtown Road, Lima, injuring homeowners, James and Frances Mauk, has been completed.
Assistant State Fire Marshal Scott R. Gelbaugh, has ruled the home explosion as accidental and has closed the case.
On Nov. 16, Gelbaugh, as well as investigator Mark Wright from Unified Investigations, hired on behalf of Erie Insurance, held a joint scene exam. There were also several investigators, attorneys and engineers from various companies to assist with the investigation.
According to the report, the exterior propane system was examined and tested. A flow and lock-up test was also conducted. After the testing was completed, a section of exterior half inch copper supply line was found to have a crack in it. The supply line crack was located beneath the second stage regulator, approximately eight inches underground. There was green and blue discoloration of the copper supply line noted around the crack.
The crack in the line cannot be ruled out as the cause of the propane leak resulting in the explosion.
Based on his experience, witness observations, scene examination and other details, the explosion was ruled accidental. No criminal activity was uncovered.
Shortly after homeowner James Mauk turned on the master bedroom light switch, the explosion occurred. Mauk and his wife were trapped due to the explosion. It took approximately one hour for fire department personnel to locate and extricate the Mauks.
James Mauk, 68, and Fran Mauk, 70, are recovering from their injuries at their daughter’s home in Bath Township.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.