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JURY RULES ON NATURAL GAS EXPLOSION

Mar 26, 2014

By Joe Moore, WJHG, News Channel 7

OKALOOSA COUNTY-- An Okaloosa County jury has returned a $14.8 million verdict against two companies - Panhandle Plumbing, and Andrews Cooling and Heating - for a natural gas explosion that killed one man and injured a woman at a home in Destin.

The explosion happened four years ago in November 2009. The couple was renting a home in Destin when a natural gas explosion ignited the home's laundry room.

Michael Blanchard was burned on 98 percent of his body and died three weeks later. Faye Buroughs suffered burns to 33 percent of her body and remains permanently disfigured.

Evidence was shown in the trial that gas safety codes were violated and that the two defendant companies failed to adequately train their technicians.

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