Homeowner shopping during house explosion was shocked to find he - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Homeowner shopping during house explosion was shocked to find her home gone

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The Tarrant County Fire Marshal says state investigators are pressure testing gas lines to see if a gas leak may have caused a house to explode Tuesday night.

The house was on Appian Way in Tarrant County, near Azle.

The homeowner, Barbara Pickard, wasn't home at the time, but at least one dog of her four dogs was killed. She was out shopping at the time, but says that normally, she would have been home.

Pickard says she saw the plume of smoke, but didn't imagine it would be her home, which she inherited in the 1990s from her grandfather. Neighbors were relieved to see her drive down the street.

"When I stood up, I just saw timbers of what was my house," said Pickard. "It's the most devastating thing to see."

Pickard says everyone from her neighbors to her boss knew that her house exploded, except for her.

"My boss was being bombarded with it," said Pickard. "He was watching it on the news before I even took my lolligagging a** out of Lake Worth, where I was shopping, and to come up the hill and see this and everyone was omg you weren't there you weren't there!"

While she lost her home and valuables, she's grateful to be alive.

"My knees are still knocking and shaking," said Pickard. "Like my boss told me this morning, you know, ‘You're here.' I am so tremendously thankful to be alive when I'm looking at this. And it's just a house. It's just my pictures. It's my grandmothers stuff; my granddad's stuff. All my friends and years of accumulation of stuff that gathered dust. I'm so thankful my animals are coming back to me. Those are my children."

Fire crews from Azle and surrounding areas managed to put the fire out before it spread to other homes, even saving a second home on the property that was being rented out.

"There was propane gas to the house," said Tarrant County Fire Marshal Randy Renoir. "We feel certain with the magnitude of the explosion that gas was involved in one way or another. We are going to trace the gas lines and measure and diagram the house."

An arson taskforce will also be combing the scene, but mainly to serve as extra help since arson is not suspected.

Three of Pickard's four dogs managed to escape alive, including one she had recently rescued.

"It exploded and blew stuff all the way across the street, over against my fence and even a little bit over my fence," said neighbor Stanley Barrett. "And that's about all. Just a big ball of fire."

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