NORTH RICHLAND HILLS (CBSDFW.COM) — A family in North Richland Hills feels lucky to be alive after a house explosion Saturday afternoon, in which an eight-year-old girl was severely burned.
Marvin Reinoshek says he and his wife, their two sons and daughter, one of the children’s friends and Reinoshek’s niece were playing video games in the living room.
Reinoshek says his eight-year-old niece got up and walked to the hall bathroom. He was three feet away from his niece when the explosion happened.
“She went to the restroom. As she went into the restroom, she opened the door, turned on the light and boom. It blew up, knocked the walls out of the house,” Reinoshek recalls.
He says while they were all shaken and the house damaged, the only person hurt was his niece.
But Reinoshek says eight-year-old Maya, was badly burned; over 40 percent of her body, including her hair, face and back.
“She was on fire so [my wife] put her out. I picked her up and climbed over the debris in the hallway to get out of the house,” Reinoshek said.
An ambulance took Maya to a local hospital, where she was flown by helicopter to the burn unit at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
He says his niece was talking. His wife road along with her, and now both of the child’s parents are with her at the hospital. Reinoshek says the little girl has since been sedated, but he says the family is told she will survive.
“There’s a gas leak somewhere. That’s what I was told. There’s a gas leak and we were lucky to walk out of that house when it blew up,” Reinoshek said.
The North Richland Hills Fire Department made sure the homes on either side of the explosion on Harwood Road were evacuated. They’ve shut off the gas to the neighboring homes, and blocked the road while Atmos Energy works to pinpoint what happened.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family affected by today’s events, especially the young girl who was injured,” said Jennifer Ryan, in a statement from Atmos Energy.
Ryan says it is too early for Atmos Energy to speculate on the cause.
“We hadn’t smelled anything. We noticed a couple days ago there was a funky odor in the front bathroom but I thought it was sewage problems,” Reinoshek said.
NRH Fire Battalion Chief Eddy Wood says the gas company crew will be digging up a gas line in the yard overnight. Wood says there was gas present in the house.
The American Red Cross has offered assistance for the displaced family, who will be staying at apartments across the street for the next two nights.
“There’s a gas leak somewhere. That’s what I was told there’s a gas leak and we were lucky to walk out of that house when it blew up,” Reinoshek said.
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