One person was killed and another severely injured when a house in Cherokee County, Oklahoma exploded February 2. The blast occurred just after 11:00 a.m. in the house located near the Green Leaf Nursery in the unincorporated community of Keys.

Marie Deal had recently moved into the house with her grandson, Cricket Smith, 27, and her friend Helen Yost, 65. Deal, who was at work when the explosion occurred, told local media that she thinks a gas leak was the cause of the explosion. A furnace repairperson was at the house shortly before the explosion occurred, she said.

Keys is located about 90 miles southeast of Tulsa. Neighbors, who described the sound as deafening, rushed to help Smith and Yost who were trapped inside the flaming remnants of the house. They pulled Smith from the house. He had suffered severe burns and lacerations from broken glass and was airlifted to a Tulsa hospital. Yost did not survive the blast.

Fred Pritzker Law Firm
Attorney Fred Pritzker

“Most house explosions are caused by a problem with a propane tank, pipeline, furnace or other appliance,” said Fred Pritzker, a gas explosion lawyer with Pritzker Hageman, one of the only law firms in the country with experience in explosion cases. The firm has recovered over 70 multimillion settlements for clients who have been injured in explosions or who have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one. “No family should have to experience the pain and loss that explosions can cause,” said Pritzker.

Local investigators are working with a team from Tulsa’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) unit to determine the cause of the explosion. Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault told that there have been a handful of house explosions in that area in recent years and this one looks “pretty bad.”