Two former Georgia College students remain in an Atlanta hospital after a natural gas explosion rocked their North Fulton county home.
The former students, Brendan Morton and Patrick Sammons, are believed to be in stable condition after the explosion caused 2nd and 3rd degree burns to large portions of the men’s skin.
Shortly before 9 p.m. June 12, according to reporting from several major Atlanta news sources, Morton, Sammons, and a third roommate identified as Win Reid were inside their residence on Pine Grove Pointe Drive in Roswell when they noticed a foul odor coming from the vicinity of their washing machine. Having moved into the rented house only a few days before, the men believed the smell was caused by mold that previous tenants had left in the washer before moving out. Unbeknownst to the men, a leak from a line inside the home had reportedly saturated the surrounding air with natural gas, and when Morton and Sammons attempted to light a scented candle to mask the smell, the resulting spark ignited an explosion that destroyed the home and left more than half the men’s bodies covered in serious burns.
Upon hearing the explosion, several neighbors ran outside to investigate and summoned first responders, who transported Sammons and Morton to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. An update posted by Morton’s mother on the announcement website caringbridge.org Sunday evening said both men were recovering from respective skin graft procedures. The men are expected to undergo multiple additional procedures before being released by doctors.
In testament to the men’s impact on the Milledgeville and Metro Atlanta communities (Morton is known among friends as a tireless advocate for relief for the island nation of Haiti and formerly worked at the Kuroshima Japanese restaurant in Milledgeville), a GoFundMe page soliciting donations for the men had raised more than $36,000 as of Monday afternoon. While Morton and Sammons are believed to have been standing near the gas leak at the time of the explosion, Win Reid was on the opposite side of the home and escaped serious injury.
A dog belonging to Reid that had run away after the explosion returned home a few days after the blast.
The home was almost totally destroyed in the blast.
To donate to the three men displaced by the explosion, visit www.gofundme.com/fund-for-brendan-pat-and-win.