The department released its Origin and Cause Investigation Report about the deadly explosion Friday afternoon.
The report follows a three-month investigation in which more than 25 people were interviewed, and numerous processes, 911 calls, and videotapes were examined and reviewed.
The first 911 call reporting a smell of gas occurred at approximately 9:11 a.m. by a woman who was driving in the area.
Key investigation findings in the report revealed that the explosion occurred at 115 North Duke Street when “an explosive atmosphere was created when a gas service line was struck during a horizontal boring operation.
This breach allowed fugitive gas to flow until reaching an ignition source, at which time an explosion occurred resulting in severely damaged and destroyed buildings. As a result of the explosion, several persons, including firefighters, were injured and two fatalities occurred,” the City of Durham wrote in a release.
The devastation killed Kaffeinate coffee shop owner Kong Lee and Jay Rambeaut, a Dominion Energy employee rushing to shut off the gas.