Officials on Saturday afternoon lifted evacuations in the Northwest Dallas neighborhood where a home exploded Friday morning, killing 12 year old Linda Rogers and injuring four others. Neighbors said the family had just moved in last month.
The explosion happened in the 3500 block of Espanola Drive. Neighbors returning to their homes said they wouldn't feel safe enough to stay there until gas lines had been replaced.
"They had to wait for someone to pass away in order for them to pay attention to what's going on in our neighborhood," said neighbor Nohemi Barboza. "It's not right that they play with people's lives like that."
Atmos Energy crews completed a gas-leak testing in the neighborhood, and shut off gas service until lines could be replaced "out of an abundance of caution," Atmos spokeswoman Jennifer Altieri said.
Some parts of the neighborhood would have gas back on as early as Sunday, but it could take up to 10 days to restore service to all of the homes in the area, said an Atmos spokeswoman. Atmos said it would offer hotel stays to families until they had gas in their homes.
The neighborhood sits just north of Love Field, is bounded by Gaspar Drive to the north, Larga Drive to the west, Almazan Drive to the south and Marsh Lane to the east.
Crews will begin restoring natural gas to homes on Sunday, a process that could take 7-10 days as they work to replace 2 1/2 miles of pipe throughout the neighborhood, Altieri said.
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said two other recent house fires in the neighborhood were also gas-related.
About 300 homes spanning more than a six-block radius were evacuated Friday as a precaution as crews worked to investigate the explosion and whether it was linked to the two other fires. More than 700 students at Stephen C. Foster Elementary School were also evacuated.
On Saturday the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced it was sending three investigators to investigate the explosion of the single-family residence. Their team is set to arrive Sunday morning.
Anyone looking to help the family of Linda Rogers is asked to visit the official GoFundMe account set up for the Rogers family.