Helmet camera videos show firefighter response to Durham gas explosion

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Thursday, August 15, 2019
Helmet cams show Durham gas explosion video
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Helmet cams show Durham gas explosion video

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- New video was released Thursday, showing what it was like for firefighters in the moments after the deadly Durham gas explosion in April.

The video is from cameras attached to the firefighters' helmets.

It shows the perspective of the firefighters as they worked to get the fire under control and dug through rubble to find victims.

One of the videos showed firefighters entering the warehouse near the explosion site that housed exotic cars.

Those were among the numerous videos, audio recordings and other documents that the City of Durham released Thursday.

This comes days after the Durham Fire Department released its origin and cause investigation report, which showed that investigators determined the explosion was accidental.

The devastation killed Kaffeinate coffee shop owner Kong Lee and Jay Rambeaut, a Dominion Energy employee rushing to shut off the gas.

The investigation concluded:

  • Natural gas leaked from a fractured 3/4-inch service line located in the sidewalk footway in front of 115 North Duke St.
  • It is estimated that the natural gas flowed for one hour prior to the explosion.
  • Based on the estimated one-hour flow time, 46,000 cubic feet of gas flowed from the breached line.
  • No report of the smell of gas was made to 911 by any occupant of 115 North Duke St. (Kaffeinate).
  • Mr. Lee (Fatality 1) and the crew of Optic Cable Technology LLC were aware of the gas leak moments after the breach and prior to a 911 call at 9 a.m.
  • Mr. Lee (Fatality 1), Mr. Smith, and the crew of Optic Cable Technology LLC were aware of the gas leak prior to E1's arrival at 115 North Duke St.
  • The gas accumulated within 115 North Duke Street reaching 100% of Lower Explosive Limits (LEL).
  • The gas was ignited by an undetermined source within 115 North Duke St. leading to the explosion.
  • There is no evidence of criminal intent by any company or individual to warrant criminal prosecution.