Lawsuit filed on behalf of fatal Montgomery Co. house explosion victims

By Jace Larson, Investigative Reporter, jlarson@click2houston.com
Jill Courtney, Sr. Web Editor, Click2Houston.com
Published On: Feb 28 2014 10:31:54 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 28 2014 06:27:28 PM CST

A lawsuit has been filed against a propane company on behalf of two Montgomery County women who were killed in a house explosion. Jace Larson reports.

HOUSTON -

A Montgomery County family who lost two loved ones in a house explosion has filed a lawsuit against the propane company they say is at fault.

The explosion last June flattened a home in Dobbin, just northwest of Conroe. A baby boy survived despite suffering severe burns, but his grandmother and great aunt did not.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in civil court. It doesn't say an amount the family is seeking, but it goes after the company that filled the propane tank just a day before the explosion.

"He's walking, he's just starting to learn some words," Jennifer Kennemer says of her baby.

Wyatt has had a big recovery since he was found crying in the rubble of the exploded home. The body of the 18-month-old boy was badly burned. The explosion killed the baby's grandmother, Jennifer Mock, and her sister-in-law, Lena Mock Knight.

"It's just devastating, it's just destroyed your life," said the victim's husband, Daniel Mock.

The family says a worker from Triangle B Corporation had filled up a large outdoor propane tank the day before and helped the family light the water heater and a stove. The family hadn't been living at the home. The family's attorney said the propane company employee never checked for leaks as the law requires.

"I filed this lawsuit alleging negligence and gross negligence because it was a gross oversight to knowing violate this law in place," said family attorney Brant Stogner.

For hours after the employee filled the tank, Stogner says underground propane pipes leaked without the family knowing. He says a leak check would have identified the problem and ultimately prevented it.

"It is a wonder Wyatt Smith made it through this explosion," Stogner said.

It's not just the family saying the company is at fault. The Texas Railroad Commission faulted the company after it reviewed the case. We reached out to the company being sued and did not hear back from them Friday.

The family who lost their loved ones wants to make sure everyone knows to ask people filling home propane tanks whether a leak inspection was done.

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