Three injured in Monette house explosion

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
A ruptured gas line cause of house explosion in Monette.

A house on Larrison Street in Monette exploded at 10 p.m. Monday, June 5, with three people sustaining injuries and burns from the fire and explosion. Resident Todd Smithee, 53, and two friends, Barry Pruitt, 42, and Pam Crump, 57, were in the house at the time.

Smithee's mother, Geneva Smithee, who lives across the street, was injured due to a fall crossing the street to help her son. Mrs. Smithee was transported to a hospital, treated and released.

Monette Fire Chief David Clark said the explosion was heard throughout town and as far as four miles away.

Clark said when the First Responders arrived on the scene the house was already in flames and the burned victims had escaped and were in the front yard awaiting help.

Emerson dispatched three ambulances and worked with the victims. Once they were stable all three victims were airlifted to a burn center in Memphis.

Following the investigation, Clark reported he had received the final ruling and the cause of the fire was determined to be from a ruptured gas line underneath the house.