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Home Explosion Caused By Intentional Disconnect Of Gas Line

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THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4)- The gas leak that caused a home explosion in Thornton last month was intentional, according to authorities at a community meeting Wednesday evening to discuss what happened.

Authorities said the gas line was disconnected on purpose inside the home. The gas filled the basement of the home for 60 to 90 minutes.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Pliers and clipped fittings were found near a gas line disconnected from the furnace.

Although investigators know it was intentional, they don’t know the reason behind the gas line disconnect.

“This is not a closed investigation. However I will tell you we are in the final stages,” said Thornton Police Chief Randy Nelson.

Dozens of people from the community gathered to learn new information about the blast. They came with many questions including who was responsible for the explosion.

Thornton residents gathered for a meeting about the home explosion (credit: CBS)

Thornton residents gathered for a meeting about the home explosion (credit: CBS)

According to police in Thornton, the only person of interest in the June 19 explosion is the man who died in the home, Gary Lee Pine.

Pine, 59, was found dead in the wreckage of the home after the blast.

After the explosion, debris clung to surrounding trees and rooftops and was scattered across two square blocks.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Some neighbors came to the meeting at Stargate Charter School seeking answers about what contaminants the neighborhood may have been exposed to.

Neighbors learned at the meeting they had not been exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos.

“I don’t know about getting sick, maybe. But I think someone should have taken some samples of the ground,” said neighbor Tony Lorenzo.

“If you went into my backyard right now it would basically be like what happened on June 19,” said neighbor Todd Branson.

Branson’s home is next door to Pines. His home is unlivable. The damage is so great he still doesn’t know how much it will take for the repairs or when he can return home.

“We were told as early as September, October and we were also told as late as six months,” said Branson.

Xcel Energy said the gas line systems in the neighborhood are safe.

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