Haralson County family narrowly escapes massive house explosion

A house exploded in Haralson County, injuring four family members. A mom, dad and two young girls were all at the home. Miraculously, they all survived. 

"It was just so devastating. I could hear the screaming and crying, and I look at the house and I thought, oh my God, it was in flames! It was just so devastating," said Brenda Smith who lives next door. 

Haralson County Arson Investigator Seth Entrekin, who works for the sheriff's office, says the Akins family came home Wednesday evening and smelled gas.

"The dad and the children stay on the front porch; the mom goes in to investigate and finds a leaky valve. She attempts to turn the valve off," said Investigator Entrekin.

That's when something sparked the explosion.

Entrekin says the house uses propane to heat the home. He says as the shut-off valves get older, they're easier to turn, and something may have bumped up against it.

He says the bigger problem in this case is the line was uncapped, which allowed gas to leak out.

"It's very important to cap those lines because that would have trapped the gas from getting in the residence and probably could have kept the house from exploding," said Investigator Entrekin.

"The warning I'd put out to people is to check your house when it comes to this. If you have propane with a company, they'll come out and be glad to inspect your house," said Haralson County Sheriff Stacy Williams.

The Akins family

The Akins family  (Supplied)

Mom, dad, and their two girls were all rushed to the hospital with burns and cuts, but they will be okay. 

"We're sorry for the family, but it could have been a lot worse. This right there was a miracle," said Sheriff Williams.

The Haralson County Fire Chief released the following statement:

"In light of the recent tragic home explosion on February 21, 2024, the Haralson County Fire Department emphasizes the urgent need for homeowners to prioritize safety by capping off unused gas lines in residential structures. This essential precaution serves as a critical deterrent against potential gas leads, fires and carbon monoxide incidents, effectively mitigating the risk of catastrophic disasters similar to the recent explosion". 

Everything the Akins family owned was destroyed in the explosion and fire. Family members have set up a GoFundMe to help them out.