8, Apr 2023
Jewelry worth thousands stolen from neighboring homes damaged in the Calgary house explosion

It’s been an emotional week for people living in the Calgary community of Marlborough after a home exploded — leaving many without a place to live — but now some in the area have more to worry about than just having to repair or rebuild.

On Monday, March 27, a house in northeastern Calgary exploded due to a suspected natural gas leak, sending 10 people to the hospital.


Click to play video: 'Security video shows Calgary explosion'


Security video shows Calgary explosion


Janet and Dennis Downes live next door to the home that blew up.

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Due to the damage to their Maryvale Way NE home, where they’ve lived for more than 50 years, they’ve had to stay with friends. Temporary construction fencing surrounds their house.

Last Thursday, the couple was on their way to the home to let inspectors inside — but as they drove up, they saw a man walking out their front door.

“We hollered at him,” Janet said. “We didn’t know who he was. We just hollered at him and said, you know, ‘what are you doing coming out of there?’ It was locked, and he ignored us and went around the back.”

Read more:

Preparations for life after the Calgary house explosion begin: ‘They don’t have anything’

They believe the man broke in through the back door “and stole all my good jewelry and he went through the whole house because he left all the doors and drawers open.”

The Downes believe the missing jewelry is worth about $15,000, however they are still waiting for the accurate appraisal from the jewelers.

“They wanted a value,” said Dennis, speaking about the jewelers.

“It’s impossible for us to give them a value of something that we had purchased years ago.

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“There’s also a sentimental value and nobody’s gonna buy that back.”

A spokesperson for the Calgary Police Service sold Global News they had respondents to reports of a break and enter at the residence on the 700 block shortly after 2 pm on March 30.

However, when the officers arrived, the police said the suspect had already fled the scene.

Read more:

Calgary Fire Department suspects house explosion caused by natural gas leak

Global News also spoke with Penny Simmons as she went through her belongings on Wednesday, deciding what to put into storage and what to keep on-hand until her home is rebuilt.

Her home is on the north side of the exploded house — where she’s lived since 1979 — but the building is no longer habitable. She’s been staying with her sister.

According to Simmons, last week someone also entered her home, breaking into the safe in her bedroom and taking more than $5,000 worth of jewelry.

One of the irreplaceable items, she said, was an emerald ring worth about $2,500 which was a gift from her late husband more than 15 years ago.

Police are investigating the incident and ask anyone with information to give them a call.

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Click to play video: 'Long road to recovery begins for victims of Calgary house explosion'


The long road to recovery begins for the victims of the Calgary house explosion


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