Explosion-Damaged Homes in West Park Lead to Lawsuits Against Propane Company and Homeowners

WEST PARK, FLORIDA – Three families whose homes were devastated by an overnight propane explosion in December in West Park have taken legal action by filing lawsuits in Broward County. The explosion, which occurred at a home on 5206 SW 20th St., owned by Redes Ledix and Pierre Mertus, left nothing standing in its wake. Fortunately, four family members inside the home survived the blast.

City records indicate that the explosion not only destroyed the home at the center of the incident but also caused damage to approximately 40 other homes in the area, including shattered windows, cracked walls, and other property damage. Multiple lawsuits have been filed against AmeriGas Propane Inc., as well as Ledix and Mertus, by families affected by the explosion. Among the plaintiffs are Geneva Allen and Tangela and Tommie Jordan, neighbors across the street from the exploded home, along with two families living on either side of the property.

An investigation conducted by the state found the explosion to be accidental, with propane gas leaking into the home from a compromised area on a gas line. Reports indicated that there was evidence of ongoing construction at the property, with a freshly dug trench located near where the home once stood. Some neighbors reported smelling gas in the days leading up to the explosion, and investigators discovered a propane tank on the property with a visible leak.

Attorney Cam Justice, representing the affected families, stated that AmeriGas had leased the tank to the previous owner of the property, with the lease expiring before Ledix and Mertus acquired the home. Justice alleged that AmeriGas neglected to inspect and maintain the tank adequately. Lawsuits also claimed negligence on the part of Ledix and Mertus for failing to address signs of a leak and not contacting authorities to prevent the explosion.

The explosion caused significant damage to the homes of the Jordan and Brown families, with some properties considered total losses. Despite the devastation, the Jordans have remained in their home, still bearing the effects of the explosion. The Browns and Sonel’s homes sustained extensive damage, with both properties deemed total losses.

Attorney J. Wil Morris, representing Ledix and Mertus, maintained that the explosion was a tragic accident and that his clients were unaware of the propane tank on the property. Morris mentioned that the incident occurred on the same night construction began at the house, hinting at the possibility that construction activities may have contributed to the disaster.

As the legal proceedings unfold, more details are expected to emerge regarding the circumstances leading up to the explosion and the responsibilities of the parties involved. The impact of the explosion has left lasting scars on the families affected, with some facing permanent injuries as a result of the tragic event.