Saturday, March 21, 2015 will be a day to remember for many residents. The home explosion on Sunningdale Way was heard far beyond the immediate neighborhood, leaving many wondering what could possibly have happened.

Saturday, March 21, 2015 will be a day to remember for many residents. The home explosion on Sunningdale Way was heard far beyond the immediate neighborhood, leaving many wondering what could possibly have happened.

While a number of families have been directly impacted by this terrible event -- none more than the owners of the home that was destroyed -- we are extremely thankful that no lives were lost and that only minor injuries were sustained by a few.

To summarize what happened that afternoon, the explosion occurred following reports to Columbia Gas of Ohio of a natural gas leak in the area. One home was completely obliterated, with the impact of the blast and falling debris causing extensive damage to houses in the immediate neighborhood and, to a lesser degree, to homes a little farther away.

Since the location of the explosion is so close to our Municipal Services Center, one of our on-duty officers actually heard the blast, saw debris in the air and immediately headed to the scene.

It comes as no surprise to me that our city staff responded in excellent fashion on Saturday, from our fire and police personnel to our chief building official and public services staff. Between them, they quickly worked to contain the scene, suppress fires, make sure residents were safe and accounted for, start cleanup on the surrounding streets and undertake an initial review of the impacted homes to determine if they were safe for occupancy.

The utility companies also responded quickly and effectively. Columbia Gas and AEP Ohio crews undertook extensive safety checks, disconnecting service where necessary until appropriate repairs could be made. Since the incident occurred following the report of a gas leak, Columbia Gas has been extremely active on the scene to determine what caused the explosion and to provide whatever level of support it can to the affected families.

They quickly established a hotline number -- 1-800-590-5571 -- for displaced families to call if they needed assistance, and they enlisted the help of the American Red Cross for the provision of counseling services if required by any of the families.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio sent representatives to the site early Monday to begin an investigation into this event. It may take a number of weeks, even months, before the results of this investigation become known, but we will be in close contact with PUCO representatives as this process unfolds.

With the immediate emergency response needs fulfilled and initial issues addressed following the incident, now comes the hard part for the families affected by this tragedy -- that of cleanup, processing insurance claims, repairs, safety inspections and the like.

Our Building Division is committed to doing whatever it can to expedite inspections and to provide advice in a timely fashion, but these things take time to coordinate and implement.

In true UA-fashion, we have seen an outpouring of support for the families from residents in the community. Fortunately, all have a critical safety net in place in the form of their homeowners' insurance. And in every case where damage was incurred, their insurance providers were quick to respond, secure any broken windows and doors, and to begin the process of assessing the extent of the damage and needs of each property.

In the best interests of everyone involved, we are letting the American Red Cross coordinate and match incoming offers of help with actual need.

We have established a page on our website -- uaoh.net under the Headlines section -- that is providing regular updates on the incident, our response and other pertinent items. It is here that you can find advice for property owners who believe their homes may have been damaged by the blast, useful phone numbers, a timeline of the events of that day, informational websites and other pertinent information.

Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager.