Capt. Frank Baughman, the city’s fire marshal, said the occupant thought he was turning off the water line when he may have accidentally turned on the gas. Baughman said the source of the ignition has not been located and the investigation continues.
He said the fire was being “fed” by the natural gas so Duke Energy was called to shut off the line.
When asked how to reduce the risk of such an incident, Baughman said homeowners probably should hire a professional. If they smell gas in their home, they should immediately call the fire department.
Also, he said, people should avoid hanging clothes on gas lines in the basement because over time, the lines may become worn and allow gas to leak.
Several friends of Gillespie’s reacted on Facebook to the incident and his injuries. Heather Gibson, owner of Triple Moon Coffee Shop in downtown Middletown, called him “good people” who has “a huge heart and is hands down one of the best people I know.”