Hundreds of homeowners without gas in Northeast Travis County

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by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and photojournalists DAVID GARDNER, MATT OLSEN & DENNIS THOMAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on December 28, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 28 at 10:01 PM

TRAVIS COUNTY -- Frustration is starting to sink in for homeowners in the Briar Creek neighborhood just outside of Manor. Hundreds of them are without gas.

"There's a lot of elderly out here," said Wayne Dean. "And they're concerned because they're cold. And I mean for what they charge, you'd think they'd fix it." 

Zachary Epright is also without gas. He said his wife is very upset.

"She was fussing this morning when I got here about it being cold and no hot water," Epright said.

Texas Community Propane, LTD  (TCP) disconnected the gas to about 900 houses Thursday afternoon after an explosion at a home on Briar Creek Loop.

That homeowner, Deanna Pichon, said she smelled gas and called the gas company. After about an hour, she said two workers came over to fix the line.

"The two workers were out working on the gas line and they sparked a fire, like they hit a wrench with a little pole and it sparked a fire. And they flew back, like the two people, the workers got hurt in the process of that," Pichon said. 

The workers were taken to the hospital with moderate burns. TCP officials said Friday that they are in good condition.

Pichon's home is a total loss. There is heavy water and smoke damage both upstairs and downstairs. The only thing she was able to get out of her home was a toy for her young daughter. She and her two children are now staying in a hotel.

Neighbors said they're grateful no one was seriously injured but now their attention is turned to the cold weather because Central Texas is expected to be hit by another hard freeze Friday night. 

Epright has been waiting for hours to have his gas restored.

"They shouldn't have said two hours if they couldn't make it in two hours. You know that was at 7:30 this morning when I got home and nobody's been by yet. So I'm hoping they come by pretty quick because I think it's going to be a lot colder tonight then it is now. And we're gonna need some heat," Epright said.

TCP officials said crews will work through the night to turn the gas back on, but they admit that crews won't be done until well after 10:00 p.m. Friday.

Anyone experiencing a gas outage should call TCP at 512-272-5503.

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