New report published on Gilbert gas leak - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

New report published on Gilbert gas leak

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Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 6:52 am

Fire investigators say they discovered several leaks on two gas lines on the same street where a man was severely burned after his garage exploded.

In February, 39-year-old Jason Nelson lit a cigarette in his garage, without knowing there was a natural gas leak. It set off an explosion that almost killed him.

Nelson’s friend, Gretchen Hall, says he’s doing well. Hall said he’s now moving more. “He’s able to sit up and was actually moving his arms and legs on his own.”

Southwest Gas confirmed gas leaks on two feeder lines on Palomino Drive in Gilbert where the accident happened.

Jason suffered burns to 80 percent of his body. He’s been through thirteen surgeries in the last six weeks. He’s scheduled for another surgery Wednesday.

Hall said he’s in good spirits. She said, "I came in and started talking to him a little bit and he kind of looked at me and he gave me this look like 'Oh no, who let her in,' so I was like 'Oh! There's Jason.'"

Investigators used special equipment to check the air and found reading that hit 30-40 percent of the lower explosive limit. Experts say anything between 5-15 percent is flammable. Jason’s home was more than double that.

Both Southwest Gas and The Arizona Corporation Commission are conducting an investigation to get to the bottom of what went wrong.

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