A Lakewood family was left shaken and frustrated after a gas leak caused an explosion within feet of the couple’s children on Jan. 5. Megan Anderson was preparing dinner when she flipped the garbage disposal off and a wall between her kitchen and den exploded.

She detailed the situation on Facebook, largely in an effort to warn other neighbors for potential dangers. While she says gas provider Atmos Energy immediately moved the family into an apartment and replaced the entire gas main for her street, gas is still leaking into the soil around her house and she feels she has not gotten honest answers about what went wrong.

She wrote on Facebook [sic]:

“Atmos has been “working” in and outside of our home using large vacuum trucks to syphon the gas from underneath and around our foundation for over a month now, but they essentially have no idea where the gas is coming from or how to stop it. Atmos has no idea how long this will take, or if we will ever be able to move back into our home. We have no end in sight.

I am writing this today because I want our neighbors to know what is going on. To be clear, our house does not, and did not have a gas leak from any of the gas pipes inside or even within the boundaries of our property. The gas in our home traveled from the leaking gas main through the soil into our home. The gas is in our SOIL and it is certainly not contained to our property. Atmos claims that they have notified our neighbors of what is going on and that they have checked to see if any other homes in our neighborhood have gas leaks but after everything they’ve put us through and all of the lies we’ve been told, we’re not buying it. We did not smell ANYTHING in our home before the explosion – the soil filters out the smell that the gas company adds to natural gas – so many of our neighbors could have gas leaks and not know it. I’m afraid this is a neighborhood problem if not more and I’m concerned for my neighbors. If you live in the University Terrace area PLEASE consider calling Atmos have having them do an extensive test of your home including checking inside the walls for any natural gas fumes that may be entering through gaps in the foundation around the plumbing. We were lucky that no one was hurt but there have been several other cases like ours all over Dallas in recent years where people weren’t so lucky.”

Atmos didn’t immediately return our call for a comment on the incident, but would only provide WFAA with a one sentence explanation saying: “We installed a new main and services in the area to ensure our customers safe and reliable service during the cooler weather.”

That explosion occurred Jan. 5, just two days later, on Jan. 7, more than 200 people in the same area called Atmos’ emergency line reporting the undeniable scent of gas in the air. We reported about the incident, and Atmos told us that the cloudy weather had trapped the scent in the atmosphere, which, pardon the pun, didn’t pass the smell test with some neighbors. We got half-a-dozen emails from neighbors saying that they have regularly smelled gas in their backyard or when out walking in recent months. Local Nextdoor sites have also had a handful of posts about the smell of gas hanging in the air.

Neighbor Clay Frenzel has resided in his L street home for seven years, but six months ago the family began noticing the rotten-egg stench of gas in their backyard. They called Atmos, who initially blamed the family’s own U-shaped backyard.

“What’s strange, and they told me this, is that they think it collects on my deck,” he says. He agrees that it’s a little fishy that after six-and-a-half years in the home, the gas would suddenly begin collecting in his backyard.

What’s more, Frenzel says Atmos later admitted there was a leak behind his house.

“They told me it was really minor,” he says.

However, he went away for a week, and returned to find brand new pavement in the alley behind his house. Like at the Anderson’s University Terrace home, Atmos had replaced the block’s gas main. But it hasn’t stopped the problem.

“We smell it all the time, but we don’t call every time,” Frenzel says, adding that his 2-year-old now knows how to detect the gas. “It’s not every day but it’s definitely recurring.”

If you have smelled gas in your neighborhood, email me at echarrier@advocatemag.com — we would like to keep track. Please include your address (or at least your neighborhood) and I’ll keep you posted on what we hear.

Always be safe and report gas leaks to Atmos at 1-866-322-8667 or 911.