Excavation damage caused Camby house fire

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Excavation damage led to a Monday morning house fire in Camby, state regulators said Tuesday.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s pipeline safety division was working to learn whether or not any laws were violated and who was at fault. The commission did not provide any additional details from its investigation.

Comcast, which provides cable TV, internet and telephone services, said in an email that its contractor was on the site for a job that had been pre-approved with Indiana811. That’s an organization that provides a communication link between excavators and operators of underground utilities. Indiana811 had placed paint to indicate where the contractor’s work was to be done. When the contractor’s tech smelled gas, Comcast said, he called 811 immediately to report it.

“We are cooperating with authorities as they complete their investigation,” Comcast said in the email.

Indiana811 said it would not comment on the ongoing investigation.

No one was hurt, but a pet died at the fire in the Walnut Grove neighborhood. Neighbors had reported hearing explosions prior to the fire, which severely damaged one home and damaged the siding of two others.

“I was like, wow, because that could’ve happened to us. We had the same thing done at our house when we moved in. They came out to run wire and buried the wires. So the same thing could’ve happened here,” said Philip Cook, a neighbor.

Cook says he watched the representatives from Indiana811 and the cable company as they worked on his house earlier this year.

“I worried about it because I have heard of that happening before and I went out and looked and actually walked with the guy when he was probing the ground to find out where it went,” said Cook.

He said he was shocked and saddened to hear what happened to his neighbors.

Investigators are still trying to determine who is to blame for the punctured gas line.