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Charlotte Area News

Fire Dept. Says Inside Leak Led To Ballantyne Gas Explosion

The house on James Jack Lane was a pile of rubble Wednesday after Tuesday's deadly explosion.
David Boraks
The house on James Jack Lane was a pile of rubble the day after the deadly explosion.

An investigation has found that a deadly home explosion in Ballantyne on July 2 was caused by an accidental gas leak inside the residence.  The blast killed one resident and seriously injured another, and turned the 6,000-square-foot home to rubble. 

A Charlotte Fire Department report released Wednesday found that the interior gas leak likely caused natural gas to build up inside the home for several days while the residents were on vacation. It ignited within minutes after they returned home, the report said. 

Investigators said they were unable to determine the specific cause of the leak or how the gas ignited. 

The explosion happened around 1:45 p.m. on July 2 at the house on James Jack Lane. Rania Karam, 58, was killed, and her husband, Jebran Karam, was seriously injured.

Outside investigations of the blast by insurance carriers and other engineers are expected to continue. The process could take months, the fire department said.