Search Underway For Cause Of Orange Mound Explosion

Search Underway For Cause Of Orange Mound Explosion

Orange Mound is still reeling from the explosion that destroyed a duplex on Brooklyn Avenue.
MEMPHIS, TN (– The Orange Mound area of Memphis was still reeling Friday from an explosion the previous night.

The duplex at 2468 Brooklyn Ave. was destroyed and one man was seriously injured in that explosion.

As of late Friday night, the investigation into the cause of the explosion was not complete. But people who live on Brooklyn Ave. were already questioning preliminary explanations. All while one man lay in the hospital fighting for his life.

“I heard an explosion,” said Carolyn Askew.

“I head a boom,” Jumilah Johnson said.

“Like a big old cannonball,” said Vanessa Tolbert. “BOOM, my whole house shook.”

All the neighbors on Brooklyn Avenue had virtually the same description of the blast the destroyed a duplex on their street.

“The west and north sides of the house were completely blown off,” said Lt. Wayne Cooke of the Memphis Fire Department.

It could have been worse, the house next door was fewer than ten feet away.

“I was like, wow,” said next door neighbor Jumilah Johnson. “It was so close, it could have been my house too.”

Now, attention is turning to the cause. Memphis Fire and MLGW are working together to figure it out.

“There is an indication that it did have something to do with an appliance,” said Gale Jones Carson, the Director of Corporate Communications for MLGW.

Neighbors were skeptical.

“There were no appliances,” Tolbert said. “Excuse my French, but they are trying to cover their ass.”

Tolbert and others say there has been a persistent smell of gas on the street.

“I have been smelling gas whenever I come through this little pathway,” Isaac Tate said.

“They had been complaining about a gas smell,” said neighbor Carolyn Askew.

Tolbert points to a gas line MLGW dug up after the explosion.

“This is a gas line MLGW took up last night,” said Tolbert. “They want to cover it up under the table.”

MLGW refuted the inference, telling, “We dug up the area post-explosion to see it there was any leak on our end. There were no leaks on MLGW’s side that would have led to the explosion.”

Neighbors were also upset about the man who lived in the decimated home.

“He was burning up,” neighbor Jordan Smith said. 

“Somewhere between 35-40 percent of his body has third degree burns,” said Cooke. “So he is in critical condition.”

Neighbors say the blast victim was quiet and kept to himself. One did say he went to college classes and a job every day, never bothering anybody.

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