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Lewisville Residents: We Should Have Been Evacuated

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LEWISVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) - Residents who lived in the complex next to a duplex that exploded because of a gas leak are calling for a change in protocol for evacuations.

The Lewisville fire department is reviewing it’s procedures after the explosion killed 55-year-old Scott Deahl.

Several residents, many of whom watched the explosion, say the fire department and ATMOS crews should have told them to leave their homes.

The duplex where Deahl lived was just 50-70 feet from the gas leak but because it was upwind, it is technically in a safe zone.

Only those who lived or worked downwind were evacuated.

Baraona Campbell, who was standing outside when the explosion took place, recieved a concussion from the force of the blast.

“They should have evacuated for caution. What’s wrong with a little caution?” she said.

Campbell says she was only told not to smoke. Christian Community Action, who owns the complex where the explosion took place, says they were never notified of the gas leak.

“I think that’s part of the protocol that needs to be reviewed by the proper authorities,” said Ron Batts, President and CEO of CCA.

Meanwhile, the fire department is reviewing it’s procedures, determining if every reasonable step was taken to keep everyone safe.

“In this particular instance, we do beleive that all reasonable steps were taken,” said James Kunke, Community Relations and Tourism Director for the city of Lewisville.  Kunke said possible changes will be assessed and addressed internally.

But for Deahls family, any change in protocol will be too late.

Meanwhile, the Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees gas lines is also investigating. Their preliminary report, said gas lines were marked with “tickets,” which are little flags placed near lines, before diggin began. but investigaros are unsure if those tickets were valid.

ATMOS energy is still investigating what ignited the explosion.

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