Firefighters believe gas leak caused explosion at Hickory apartment complex

·2 min read

Fire investigators in Catawba County believe a gas leak caused an explosion at an apartment complex in Hickory last Saturday.

“Very hard on me and my kids. I have nowhere to go with my kids. It’s just rough out here,” resident Kathy Spradling said.

Fortunately, no one was hurt but several families said they don’t have a place to live.

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Residents said they noticed the odor weeks ago and let management know there might be a problem.

It was inside Spradling’s apartment where the explosion happened. Her window can now be seen covered up with plywood.

“The fire alarm said fire, fire, fire. And before I could get my kids out the door, the gas exploded. The glass busted,” Spradling said.

Eight families lived in the building at the Silver Springs Terrace Apartments. After the explosion, the Red Cross did help with clothing and a temporary place to stay, but the hotel stays have ended. Management at the apartment complex have also placed “stop, do not enter” signs on all the doors, while the gas has been cut off.

“We were breathing in the gas odor probably two weeks to a month. The gas had been cut on and cut off,” resident Alan Wright said.

“I’ve been smelling gas for the past three months. Everybody in the building has complained and nobody has done nothing about it,” resident Ciera Geter said.

Channel 9 reached out to Silver Springs Terrace management, but when asked about the odor complaints and what families should do now, they declined to comment.

Thirty minutes later, Channel 9 did see maintenance workers around the building and learned some families are trying to move back in with the gas still cut off and with no hot water.

“Just a lot of families, six families and 16 children who need a home. And what are we supposed to do,” Wright said.

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Channel 9 confirmed that one of the families moved to another apartment at the complex.

Firefighters said their investigation into exactly what caused the explosion is still ongoing.

Return to this story for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: Fire breaks out at abandoned building next to Gastonia motel off I-85)