As two state agencies investigate the Feb. 14 propane gas explosion that killed a Northampton County man in his mobile home, a new gas leak cut off service to 70 homes in the same Moore Township neighborhood Thursday afternoon.
"I've been in fear of my house exploding since a house exploded here on Feb. 14," said resident Dawn Garland. "I'm very frustrated, very scared that I don't know if I have a home that I'm going to be able to stay in at this point."
Management of the Hickory Hills modular home community confirmed the leak Thursday afternoon. A spokesman said the propane gas system has been turned off and will remain off until the problem is solved.
"I come home from the dentist and it was down to 62 degrees in the house and there was no notice that the gas was shut off," said Hickory Hills resident Howard Miller. "I had to put blankets up to block half of the house off because I'm using a propane heater to heat the rest of the place."
Hickory Hills management say they are working with local companies to have individual propane tanks taken to each home.
The spokesman said the installation costs will not be charged to homeowners. They will just pay for the gas they use, as they did for propane delivered through the neighborhood's underground delivery system.
"We are bringing the tanks, setting them empty and then I have a crew coming behind us filling the tanks, doing a leak test," said Curt Dech, the general manager on site for Fogel's fuel service.
Before the gas leak was reported, the Department of Labor & Industry announced it will determine if the 30,000-gallon gas tank at the Hickory Hills community is in compliance with the state's liquefied petroleum gas law and other regulations.
And the state Public Utility Commission announced it is looking at the pipelines in Hickory Hills to see if they were registered. If they were not, the PUC will want to know why. That agency also will review the overall safety of that propane delivery system.
William Neith Sr., 65, was killed in the explosion around 9:15 p.m. Feb. 14 in his home at 118 Hickory Hills Drive, off Route 512.
Officials ruled the death accidental, sparked by a propane leak.
The Hickory Hills community is heated through underground propane lines, apparently supplied by that central tank.
Neighbors said they complained about a propane odor just days before Neith's home blew up.