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Man Dies Following Explosion

Investigation Continuing

Contact: John S. Robison, State Fire Marshal

334-241-4166

5/16/2003

One man died May 12th following an explosion on May 11th at 213 Sixth Avenue NW in Decatur.  Steven Foster Sheffield, age 40, died at the Burn Center at the University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham.

Investigators with the Decatur Fire and Police Departments and the Alabama State Fire Marshals Office say the victim was injured when natural gas ignited at the house where Sheffield was installing carpet.  Sheffield was apparently lighting a cigarette when the explosion occurred.

Investigators have found nothing to suggest the explosion and death are anything other than accidental, however, the specific circumstances surrounding the release of the gas is still under investigation.