63ºF

Spokeswoman: Neighbor alerts homeowner before explosion

Family spokesman: Father "better than first feared"

photo


BOERNE, Texas – Moments before an explosion ripped through 45-year-old Scott Kenney's two-story house Tuesday, a neighbor heard a hissing noise outside the home and told him to get out.

"As Mr. Kenney was preparing to come out of the house and leave the home, he just didn't make it. The explosion occurred," said Pamela Bransford, spokeswoman for the city of Boerne.

She said Kenney, a local car salesman, was alone at the time of the midday blast. His three children were at school and his wife, a teacher, was at work.

At last word, the badly-burned Kenney remains in intensive care at the San Antonio Military Medical Center.

However, a family spokesman said Kenney is "much better than feared."

He said the family is now talking about "recovery and rehabilitation."

At a midafternoon briefing Wednesday, Bransford said investigators want to know why a house built in 2008 would have had a gas leak.

The state fire marshal's office, the lead agency handling the investigation, spent the day clearing debris to look for clues to the explosion that destroyed the Kenney's family $200,000 home and severely damaged two houses on either side.

Bransford said this was the city of Boerne's first natural gas explosion "and hopefully the last."

She said as a precaution, the city has posted information on its Facebook page with advice on what to do if someone suspects a gas leak.

As for other houses along Horse Hill, Bransford said, "Our crews went in, individually lit their pilot lights once the gas was activated, so we know all those houses are safe."

She said since city crews do not check lines beyond the gas meter, she advised calling a plumber or an AC/heating contractor.