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Mysterious 'yard gas' returns to haunt 86-year-old Tulsa homeowner

By MICHAEL OVERALL World Staff Writer/TULSA WORLD Published: September 2, 2014

Eight years ago, with a mysterious and potentially explosive gas seeping out of his manicured lawn in south Tulsa, Richard Fulton spent 293 frustrating days searching for answers.

A routine inspection, looking for natural gas leaks, detected the problem in January 2006 and Oklahoma Natural Gas followed safety protocols by disconnecting Fulton’s service. It wasn’t a natural gas leak — tests failed to detect the telltale additives that ONG uses — but a spark or a pilot light from a gas appliance could have ignited the mystery gas and blown up the house, according to company officials at the time.

Without heat or hot water, Fulton counted the days but lost track of how many letters he wrote, how many phone calls he made and how many people assured him that they were doing everything possible to help.

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