On February 19, 2014, a natural gas explosion caused part of 447 N Lakewood Avenue to collapse, with three people taken to the hospital for their injuries. Also, a child died as part of the home fell on him as he was walking by on the sidewalk.  The child, Troy Douglas, was walking home from school, and should have been at a birthday party later that day.

447 N Lakewood Avenue, shortly after the gas explosion that killed one person and send three to the hospital.
447 N Lakewood Avenue, shortly after the gas explosion that killed one person and send three to the hospital. Photo by Shannon Fernandez
Taken just days before the explosion -- natural gas connection at 447 N Lakewood Avenue. Photo by Shannon Fernandez
Taken just days before the explosion — natural gas connection at 447 N Lakewood Avenue. Photo by Shannon Fernandez

Residents in the home reported the smell of natural gas, and an inspector was dispatched — an inspector who allegedly found no fault with the gas connection or the furnace, despite the photo above, which clearly shows a flex tube that isn’t properly connected. Was this the cause of the explosion?

At the time of the explosion, the property was owned by Marywood Real Estate Investors, who then sold the home for $100 in April, two months after the explosion. The home is currently owned by MBE Properties, LLC, with an address in Kingsville, MD. There are no current permits on file for this property — the last permit was a demo permit to assist fire investigators so they could determine the cause of the explosion.

This is what the home looks like today:

447 N Lakewood Avenue, photo by Reader Rusty
447 N Lakewood Avenue, photo by Reader Rusty
Memorial at the front door of 447 N Lakewood
Memorial at the front door of 447 N Lakewood. Photo by Reader Rusty
Rear of 447 N Lakewood Avenue. Photo by Reader Rusty
Rear of 447 N Lakewood Avenue. Photo by Reader Rusty