AUSTIN — The owner of a Southeast Austin home that exploded in October due to a buildup of natural gas died a few days after the explosion -- but her cat survived.
The Austin Animal Shelter told KVUE that the cat is at the shelter now and is up for adoption. He has some burns on his ears and his whiskers are starting to grow back, but otherwise he's doing well.
The Austin Fire Department had previously confirmed that the house explosion, which injured two people, was caused by a buildup of natural gas.
Just after 1:30 p.m. on October 27, AFD said in a tweet that initial reports showed the house 'exploded' and the structure suffered 'catastrophic damage. Officials said the home was located in the 2300 block of Bendridge Trail near East William Cannon Drive and McKinney Falls State Park.
Austin Fire said two victims were taken from the home with significant burn injuries. Austin Travis-County EMS said a man in his 50s and a woman in her 40s were both taken to the hospital.
While medics said the two did have critical burns on their bodies, their injuries were not expected at the time to be life-threatening.
As a result of the explosion, a gas line fire sparked around 2:21 p.m. and fire crews handled that as well.
Austin Fire said the neighboring home was significantly damaged in the explosion, and three people from that home are displaced. Austin Fire said the total estimated damage for the explosion is $750,000. At least five other homes and multiple cars were damaged in the explosion too.
Santana Vazquez is one of the neighbors who has seen the damage. Aside from the insulation that now fills his yard, he also had a window fall off. But even with the mess, he's not too concerned and is happy that everyone's OK.
"Just a lot of clean up that we have to do, but that happens to everybody," said Vazquez.
Austin Fire said they are working with the Texas Gas Service to determine why the buildup happened.