Citizens Energy has released a statement in response to indications of high gas usage at the home on Fieldfare Way that exploded on November 10.
The statement reads as follows:
Several media outlets have inquired about reports suggesting the meter at the home which exploded had a high reading on November 10th. These reports are inaccurate. Citizens’ gas meters do not have the ability to monitor daily usage. Citizens did test the gas meter on October 26th and the reading was normal. Specific days, however, were not tested.
Citizens added that it analyzed the meter with help from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Those readings have been turned over to investigators, and the meter is locked away as evidence in a Citizens storage facility, the company said.
Sources indicate to Fox59 News that it would take a gas concentration of 8 percent to 15 percent inside the home to create an explosion of the magnitude that leveled parts of the Richmond Hill community.
Investigators have determined that an intentional release of natural gas several hours before the explosion set the stage for the blast.
Sources also told Fox59 that investigators have evidence pinpointing the spike in excessive gas usage to mid-afternoon that day.
The spike coincides with the account of a neighbor who told Fox59 News that he spotted a white van—which he described as resident Mark Leonard’s vehicle—leaving the home after two unidentified men were spotted walking away quickly from the house.
That van was later seized at the Cavalier Conference center where Leonard is employed by the owners to monitor the property of the abandoned motel at Thompson Road and U.S. 31 on the south side.
Investigators are seeking the men seen by the neighbor traveling in that van.
Leonard’s brother Robert and David Gill, a longtime associate, were questioned and released by investigators Wednesday.