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Deadly gas explosion at house in 1973 led to lawsuit
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If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following questions were submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

There was a house on Thompson Bridge Road that had a gas leak and exploded sometime in the 1970s. Can you help me find some information on it?

According to Times archives, there was an explosion at a house on Thompson Bridge Road on Nov. 20, 1973, that killed two young girls.

Four-year-old Honey Melodie Eavenson and her 2-year-old sister, Christina Mae Barrett, died in the blast. Their mother, Georgia Ann Barrett, was injured. At the time, the family rented the house, which was demolished in the explosion.

Georgia Ann Barrett later filed a lawsuit claiming that the explosion was caused by a gas leak due to negligence on the part of the gas utility, heating and air conditioning company, propane supplier and owner of the house.

The suit demanded $1 million in damages, $500,000 each for the lives of the children, and claimed that the “injuries, death and resulting damages were proximately caused by the defendants in that the defendants, their agents, servants and employees negligently caused and permitted a large quantity of gas to escape from the pipes, tanks, valves ... and to explode when said gas came in contact with the open flame or spark.”

All defendants denied any wrongdoing, and the gas utility was later dismissed from the suit.

A criminal investigation into the explosion was carried out by the Georgia Fire Marshal’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and a report was filed with the Hall County Superior Court district attorney’s office.

There were no records in the archives indicating criminal charges were pursued or what became of the lawsuit.

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