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story.lead_photo.caption The house at 4613 Haywood St. exploded on Friday night, injuring 13 people. - Photo by Ryan Tarinelli

Accumulated natural gas combined with a lit cigarette caused a house to explode on North Little Rock's Haywood Street on Friday night, authorities said.

Capt. David Wilson, a spokesman for the fire department, said a leak from an open gas valve somewhere in the house at 4613 Haywood St. accumulated over an unspecified time. Evelyn Brooks, the primary resident of the house, told North Little Rock police she had smelled a natural gas odor a week before the explosion and in the moments right before it happened.

According to a police report, Ira Tucker, one of the people who was in the house when it exploded, said the entire house “immediately became engulfed in flames” after he lit a cigarette. The report said other victims confirmed Tucker’s story.

Fourteen people were in the house when it exploded about 10:20 p.m., the report said. Wilson said their injuries ranged from severe to minor in nature. The eight adults were taken to UAMS, St. Vincent and Baptist Health hospitals, while the six children were cleared by emergency personnel at the scene and told to see their personal physicians.

Police officers arrived at the scene Friday and saw the house covered in flames, the report said. They then set up a triage area at the corner of Haywood and Middle streets for the victims, some who had visible burns. Four fire department vehicles and four ambulances responded to the scene.

Wilson added that the house was “pretty much” damaged beyond repair.

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Archived Comments

  • LR1955
    August 22, 2016 at 11:19 a.m.

    Meth production?

  • itryed
    August 22, 2016 at 1:23 p.m.

    If, God forbid, you had an explosion at your house, would " meth production" be a fair assumption ?

  • DEE672
    August 22, 2016 at 2:19 p.m.

    What were 13 people doing living in that tiny house ? It doesn't seem possible. Too crowded to cook meth I would think.

  • LR1955
    August 22, 2016 at 3:26 p.m.

    I asked. Youtryd reading & thinking b4 speaking

  • itryed
    August 22, 2016 at 3:36 p.m.

    Look it up

  • Ouachita9
    August 22, 2016 at 4:20 p.m.

    That poor guy never had a chance. If he didn't die from gas inhalation, the explosion would do him in. If the explosion didn't get him, he'd die of lung cancer.
    It's a cruel world, folks.

  • Queen1976
    August 22, 2016 at 4:21 p.m.

    This is scary because we live in an environment where our infrastructures have not been maintained & are quickly deteriorating. Seems that company executives are hoarding the infrastructure money on their bonuses & salaries, instead of investing in our future. Greed will be our down-fall.

  • DontSweatIt
    August 22, 2016 at 4:36 p.m.

    Man, I'm hearing more & more about houses blowing up because of gas leaks. Maybe the gas companies need motivation to fix their decaying gas lines!

  • Slak
    August 22, 2016 at 4:58 p.m.

    The leak was almost certainly on the customer's side of the meter.
    Paying a plumber to fix a home owner's leaky gas lines is likely prohibitively expensive to a poor home owner, however the article specifies primary resident, leading me to speculate it is a rent house.
    In that instance, there might be a court case, if the evidently dirt poor residents can afford it.

  • DontSweatIt
    August 22, 2016 at 5:55 p.m.

    Good reason to have an all electric house

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