Hidden Damage Possible Near Bushland Explosion Site

by: Kristen Guilfoos
NewsChannel 10

Bushland, Texas - Hidden problems could be lurking underneath the homes near the Bushland explosion.

Contractors say it could become a major concern if it's not taken care of.

Take one look at the houses on Laramie street and you'll see the damage. Greg Herring's house suffered major damage. "Broke out all the windows, the heat melted pretty much everything in the front." It's all caused by the blast that rocked the Prairie West neighborhood last week.

Suzanne Torres lives nearby the explosion site. She says the first the windows shook, then her bed shook, followed by the entire house.

It's that shaking that may have caused some damage extending past the melted light fixtures and broken windows.

We're talking about possible structural damage to houses that otherwise appear untouched from the outside.

El Paso Natural Gas' Richard Wheatley says, "We've seen some walls cracking, tile work that needs fixing."

We spoke with several contractors today who tell me an unstable foundation could result in a host of problems... Anything from the house settling unevenly to doors not shutting the way they should to exterior and interior walls cracking.

The good news is, if any of the homes out here did suffer structural damage, in most cases, they're not a lost cause. We're told if the problem is taken care of early enough, the foundation can be stabilized.

Herring says, "We have some people coming out here to check on it." And that's exactly what's being recommended... If you notice any new cracks in your walls, you should have an engineer come out and take a look at your house.

El Paso Natural Gas is in the process of doing their own cursory examinations.

Wheatley says, "Our immediate zone one area is essentially along Laramie street and the residents in that immediate impact area so we're working with them as you might imagine first."

Once they're done checking out those houses closest to the blast, they'll fan out to other neighboring streets to check for damage.