COVE FIRE

Copperas Cove Fire Department has ruled out one possible cause of an explosion that caused this house fire on Judy Lane on March 24, 2020.

A Copperas Cove neighborhood was rocked with a sudden explosion Tuesday morning in the 600 block of Judy Lane, and the Copperas Cove Fire Department is investigating the cause.

CCFD spokesman and Deputy Fire Chief Gary Young said the department had ruled out one possible cause.

“We have ruled out a natural gas leak which was confirmed by Atmos Energy that the home did not have a natural gas account,” Young said via email Wednesday.

The explosion occurred around 11:50 a.m. Tuesday. When firefighters arrived, Young said the house was fully-engulfed in flames.

Shortly after the explosion, neighbors and nearby residents rushed to the aid of a man at the residence.

One of the neighbors, Joseph Gogue, lives across the street and said he was in his bedroom when the explosion happened.

“I heard the explosion,” he said. “I looked out the window, and I saw the neighbor’s house damaged.”

His wife, Josephine Gogue, yelled out when she saw the flames.

“I said, ‘Oh, my God, the neighbor’s house is on fire,’” his wife said.

When he realized what had happened, Gogue rushed to action.

“I ran in and helped him out,” Gogue said.

Gogue’s son also helpd his father pull the man to safety.

“I helped him (my father) drag him from the garage to the streets,” said Joseph Gogue Jr.

The son said he hesitated when he saw the cab of the man’s truck fully-engulfed in flames.

I hesitated, because I wasn’t sure if the truck was going to explode,” Gogue Jr. said.

The man was taken to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple, and his condition is unknown at this time.

Cleophus Roland, a nearby resident, came to check on Gogue who was resting in the shade against a house, visibly exhausted. Gogue also had scraped his knee and right forearm.

Various neighbors came by giving him cold water and checking on him.

“Everybody’s been chipping in and showing neigborly love,” said Roland who lives on adjacent Creek Street, approximately a half mile from where the fire happened.

One of the residents bringing cold water to Gogue was Jennifer Schnelle who lives on adjacent Allen Street.

“I was inside getting a drink, and all of a sudden, I heard it (the explosion),” Schnelle said.

Schnelle hurried over and began asking the man if anyone else was in the house. She said she ran inside the house behind someone who kicked in the front door to look for others inside, but she said it was too hot to safely look and quickly exited the house.

Viewing the house from nearby Amthor Avenue, debris from the house had been blown out into the driveway. Schnelle said the hotter the flames got, the further the debris went.

Schnelle said debris was flying from the scene of the fire across the street.

Roland said he was just getting home when he saw the smoke and realized it was near his house, so he rushed over to see if he could be of assistance.

“By the time I got here, first responders — everybody — was dug in deep,” Roland said.

Young said only one explosion was reported in phone calls to the department, but both Schnelle and Gogue said they heard multiple explosions.

Assisting the Copperas Cove Fire Department were the Fort Hood Fire Department and Killeen Fire Department EMS.

Copperas Cove Police Department had Creek Street and Judy Lane blocked off from Amthor Avenue to Bowen Avenue.

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