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Copper Theft Nearly Causes Laconia, NH Home To Explode

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(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

LACONIA, N.H. (AP) — Firefighters in Laconia, N.H., say an unoccupied house was very close to exploding from a natural gas leak caused by thieves who stole copper piping in the basement.

Fire Chief Ken Erickson said when firefighters arrived at the home Thursday afternoon, they could smell the gas.

Erickson said it appeared that the copper pipes were cut with either a bolt cutter or pruning shears. He said whoever stole the copper crimped the pipe, but not enough to stop gas from leaking.

Authorities were able to shut off the gas and power to the home.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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