Man Told to Stop Lighting Cigarettes Before House Explosion

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CLEBURNE, Texas (AP) - A man whose wife died after their home exploded had been told not to light any more cigarettes before the blast.

That's according to a city of Cleburne fire marshal's report.

After calling the fire department last May, David Pawlick said quote: "every time my wife lights a cigarette, a blue flame shoots up to the ceiling."

Fire inspector Scott Oesch said he told Pawlick not to light any more matches. Oesch also said he would check the problem.

Before the inspector arrived, Pawlick's wife, Hazel, said she wanted to smoke. According to the report, Pawlick lit a match for his wife's cigarette. It went out after a blue flash, so he lit another. That sparked an explosion.

Five of the family members were injured. Hazel Pawlick died days later.

Pawlick is suing Atmos Energy. His attorney Dean Jackson declined to comment on the inspector's claim.

An Atmos Energy spokesman said he could not comment on the report because of pending litigation.