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Likely Cause Of Ballantyne Home Explosion Determined

What remains of a home in Ballantyne after an explosion Tuesday, July 2.
Screenshot of WBTV video.
What remains of a home in Ballantyne after an explosion Tuesday, July 2.

The Charlotte Fire Department met with media Wednesday regarding the ongoing investigation into a residential explosion in Ballantyne.

Fire Department officials said the most likely cause of the structural collapse is an interior gas leak and they were quick to point out that Piedmont Natural Gas Company handles exterior lines. Officials also referred to the incident, which completely demolished one home and damaged numerous others as “accidental” at this point.

[Related: On Scene, The Search For Clues In South Charlotte Home Explosion]

Matt Westover, of the Charlotte Fire Department, said because of the ongoing investigation, the department was unable to release more details at this time. He did say that what separated this incident from a deadly home explosion in 2008 was the widespread property loss.

"The thing that separates this from 2008 is just the complete devastation that goes around not just the initial building but the buildings around it. We’ve estimated our property losses on the front side of this, and we’re estimating property loss at $5 million. So we’re looking at a sustainable property loss."

No details were available on the condition of Jebran Karam, who survived the incident. Officials say his wife, Rania Karam, died in the explosion.