CenterPoint's Advice On Gas Leak Led To Explosion, Lawsuit Says

If your house reeks of gas and the gas man tells you not to worry, don't trust the gas man.

At least that's the lesson Mary and Joe Rocha claim they learned the hard way in a recent lawsuit filed against CenterPoint in Harris County District Court.

It was a little more than a year and a half ago when the Rochas called a CenterPoint repair man out to their home on Aguila Street just outside the 610 Loop to fix the pilot light in their water heater. When the worker arrived, he turned on the gas, but he couldn't get the pilot lit. After a while, the Rochas claim, the repair man seemed frustrated and appeared to be in a hurry, but finally did get the pilot to ignite. But not before the home filled with the smell of gas. (How a house filled with gas didn't ignite when he got the pilot-light lit is not explained in the suit, but sounds damn lucky.)

According to the lawsuit, when asked about the smell, the CenterPoint worker told the Rochas to just leave their windows open for a few hours and the odor would dissipate and everything would be okay. The Rochas did just that leaving their windows open for about five hours. But when they closed them back up, the smell returned. And their luck didn't.

Within minutes, the Rochas claim, before they even had the chance to call for help, the gas, along with their home, exploded. The structure and foundation were damaged and the Rochas were burned badly.

The Rochas are suing for negligence and breach of contract. Their attorney, Craig Welscher, was not available for comment. Hair Balls has not yet heard back from CenterPoint.

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