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House Explosion Victim Praises Non-Profit Before Death

Scott Deahl died after being critically injured in a house explosion in Lewisville. (credit: Christian Community Action)

Scott Deahl died after being critically injured in a house explosion in Lewisville. (credit: Christian Community Action)

LEWISVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) – On Monday leaders with a North Texas non-profit organization remembered a man who died from injuries sustained after a house explosion last week.

Scott Deahl lived in a duplex owned by Christian Community Action (CCA). The unit was part of an affordable housing complex that the non-profit group rents out to struggling families.

On January 11 crews with Texas New Mexico Power (TNMP), an electricity provider, were working in the 500 block of East Main Street. While digging to install a new telephone pole the electricity workers struck a four-inch natural gas line, which caused a gas leak.

Repair crews with natural gas provider Atmos Energy were called to the scene, but hours after the line was punctured a nearby duplex, with Deahl inside, exploded. Officials with the Lewisville Fire Department said they notified the residents inside the duplex and other homes in the area about the gas leak, but did not require that anyone leave.  Only a one-block area downwind from the gas leak was evacuated.

Deahl, who was critically injured in the blast, was taken to Medical Center of Lewisville and subsequently moved to Medical Center of Plano. Despite undergoing surgery his condition did not improve. CCA leaders said Deahl’s family removed him from life support Sunday evening.

Words from victim Scott Deahl were actually read during the Monday press conference. The 55-year-old wrote the statement about his life back in May of 2012.

 “Hi my name is Scott,

I was put on SSD (Social Security disability) back in 2004 for mental and lower back problems.  I was living in my own trailer at the time here in Lewisville with my family.  A year or so later I lost my family due to drugs and alcohol.  I had to get a roommate to pay my bills there.  During all this time I was getting help from CCA with food and bills.  About 2 years ago my roommate had to move out to take care of his father.  I was not able to pay my bills so I put my home up for sale.  It did not sell, so I lost it.  I was going to be living in my car until CCA was kind enough to put me in their housing.  While I was living here I was isolating myself, watching TV about SSD, worrying about losing my benefits and all the things that have happened to me.  On Feb. 28, 2012 I tried to take my life.  On one hand I cut 4 or 5 times.  The other hand 8 or 9 times.  The blood kept stopping so after 3 hours I called the ambulance.  While in the hospital I was joined by 2 people in prayer.  This is part of my story.  Now I’m trying to walk the path with God by doing some volunteer work with CCA, hoping to find my way in life.

Scott Deahl”

The punctured line and subsequent gas leak happened around 10:00 a.m. Friday. The house exploded just after 12:30 p.m. and it was another five hours before gas was cut off in the area.

Atmos Energy issued a statement on Monday that said, in part, “Atmos Energy said today it’s thoughts and prayers are with the Deahl family and all those involved in Friday’s incident.  The company wants residents to rest assured that the repairs to the damaged natural gas pipeline have been made. Natural gas service to the area has been restored.”

Officials with the company say the incident is “still under investigation.”

Scott Deahl, who had lived in the duplex for less than year, did maintenance work for CCA. A 12-year-old daughter and two sisters survive him. A family statement, read by leaders with the non-profit, said in part, “We are grateful for the amazing work CCA does in this community every day and we are especially grateful for the support they provided to Scott when he needed help.”

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