A CAPE MAY COUNTY, New Jersey, home was completely demolished late Thursday afternoon when an explosion blew it apart and started a fire that burned the remnants left standing.
An elderly couple who reside there were home at the time and suffered serious injuries and burns. They were trapped inside the wreckage with the fire growing when a half-dozen neighbors charged into the debris and rescued them.
"Kudos to the neighbors because they had two people trapped in there, two seniors, and the neighbors pitched in and went in there and pulled these people out," (Mayor Michael) Beck said. "I can't even explain it. It felt like an earthquake, and I went running out and the whole side of the house was blown across the yard," said Nick Plasi. He and a half dozen other neighbors, including an off-duty officer, rushed explosion site where they found Jim and Evelyn McCarty stunned, bloody and burnt.
"The lady was real banged up. Her ankles were twisted and looked real bad. I helped carry her out and another gentleman," said Antoine Sloane. "Jim was in the shower at the time. That whole wall was blown out, and he came stumbling out of the wall, and we got him out and it just went up in flames," said Plasi.
"If they hadn't got these people out of there, I have no doubt they would have been in serious trouble," Beck said.
NY Daily News
The fire department struck a 2nd alarm to fight the fire and initiate a search procedure in the neighborhood. It was obvious that it was probably a gas explosion and the entire neighborhood was temporarily evacuated as a precaution.
The city authorities confirmed that there was a gas line replacement project under way in the area but it is too early to know if that had anything to do with the accident.
KYW-TV has posted a good video report from the scene:
A TRIPLE-DECKER IN PAWTUCKET, Rhode Island, was largely destroyed this morning (Tuesday) when an explosion blew the roof off the building and started a large fire around 10:30 am Eastern.
The blast seems at first to have occurred in the top-floor apartment where a family of three resides. The two parents and their infant child were all home at the time and with the help of two neighbors were evacuated safely. The father exhibited some burns reportedly received when he wrapped his arms around is wife and baby to protect them from the fire.
City officials said the man was burned over 70 percent of his body and that he was in critical condition at Rhode Island Hospital. The child was taken to Hasbro Children's Hospital with burns to its face. The child's condition was not available. The woman was apparently not hurt.
Tony Pires, the Pawtucket public safety commissioner, said the building was empty until October, when tenants moved in.
Pires said the owner pulled permits for work, including a new natural gas heating system. The house had not yet been reinspected.
Channel 10 also filed this early video report from the scene:
The first-floor walls were blown out,
the second floor is resting on the ground…
A HOME IN CONWAY, NEW HAMPSHIRE, was destroyed in a mighty ka-boom Monday when leaking propane ignited. The explosion was so powerful that it knocked the house off its foundation. The first-floor walls were blown out, the second floor is resting on the ground, and parts of the roof are laying in the road.
Chief Stephen Solomon of the Conway Fire Department said the man who lived in the house smelled gas when he opened the door and shut it off from the outside. When he ventured in to see where the gas was coming from, he barely made it five steps and the house exploded, Solomon said.
"We did not have to rescue him, he was out on the lawn when we arrived," Solomon said.
The homeowner was seriously injured in the blast that occurred shortly after 4 pm. He was later transferred by air to Portland, Maine.
A MASSIVE EXPLOSION DEMOLISHED a single-family home near Stony Brook, Ohio, Tuesday morning with five adult residents inside.
The thunderous explosion at 5 am Eastern rattled the entire neighborhood and left the entire house and its contents in pieces and piles of debris as it killed two occupants. Three others survived and were standing outside the debris pile when the first-in units arrived. They were transported to the hospital for injuries that they received in the accident.
The second of the two fatalities was unaccounted for during the first couple of hours, but the fire crews found the victim during an extensive search into the debris.
Sentinel – Tribune
The blast also caused a good-sized fire in the debris that kept the fire crews busy for a while and later working the hot spots and flare-ups.
The investigation into the cause is just getting started and it will be quite a while until a definite cause is determined.
WTOL-TV has posted this video report which updates the previous video that was posted here:
CORPUS CHRISTIE, TEXAS, TELEVISION news readers at KIII-TV were temporarily flummoxed Friday morning when a house located near to the station's studios emitted a mighty ka-boom that was felt throughout the entire city.
The blast leveled the house and started a large fire that engulfed the entire remains of the structure around 5:30 am. At the tv station meteorologist Kristin Diaz and news anchors John Thomas and Jane Monreal were going through their schedule when it happened. Watch this video clip and see how they reacted, then recovered their poise and kept on going:
There were four people in the house when it blew, one of them injured but no seriously. Two others are in critical condition at a San Antonio burn center.
Investigators have determined it was caused by a gas leak, but have not yet pinned down the location. About 20 other houses in the area were damaged and three adajacent homes were heavily damaged.
A NEW BEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS, MAN nearly blew himself up early Monday morning while he was in a vacant house trying to steal the copper piping.
Kevin Livramento, 46, lives directly behind the house that has been vacant since the owner passed away in January, so he knew it was ripe for the pickings. Livramento was malisciously cutting up the copper pipes in the basement around 3 am when he mistakenly cut into a gas pipe. The leaking gas soon found its way to the water heater where the pilot light triggered a ka-boom that knocked an exterior wall open and moved the house off its foundations.
The shock wave in the community led some neighbors to spring to their windows to see what was the matter and Livramento was observed pedaling away on a bicycle. He was easily recognized by his own neighbors and the police had him in custody in short order.
WLNE-TV Ch. 6 filed a good video report from the scene:
Livramento was suffering from burns to his face and was taken to the hospital for treatment. He has been charged with breaking and entering in the nighttime into a building, larceny in a building and malicious destruction of property.
The police have already linked him to another similar crime in the area and are questioning him on several other breakins that have been happining in recent months.
TWO UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE are in "grave" condition at a Sacramento, California, hospital after being dropped off by a car that left them on benches in front of the emergency room and then drove away.
Police believe that they are connected to an early-morning explosion and fire that destroyed a house at 4:30 am where neighbors saw a black car speed away with its lights turned off right afterwards.
KOVR-TV posted this video report from the scene:
The roof collapsed and the back half of the home was nearly gone, but neighbors don’t appear too upset the house was destroyed.
"The last two, three years, I don’t know who they rented to but there’s people coming and going all day and night," a neighbor said. Now, neighbors are finding out why there may have been so many visitors.
"What we do know is that marijuana plants were found in and about the house," said Officer Doug Morse.
SMUD turned the power off a year ago, and those living at the home have been using generators to grow the pot inside the garage. But investigators still do not know if the drug is the reason the home burned.
Two burn victims were taken by private vehicle to UC Davis Medical Center about 30 minutes after the fire was reported. Fire officials said the victims suffered second- and third-degree burns over 50 percent to 70 percent of their bodies, including on their hands, faces and legs.
Sacramento Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Ortiz said the cause and origin of the fire have not been determined. "We are trying to determine if the fire came first or the explosion," Ortiz said.
Fire investigators have learned that there might have been others living in the house.
Firefighters spent Wednesday searching the rubble for any possible fatalities. Investigators are still working to determine what caused the fire.
A HOME IN BATH, MAINE, WAS leveled when it blew up early Tuesday morning. The explosion in the brick duplex shook the entire area at 5 am this morning and damaged nearby homes and cars, waking up the entire neighborhood. When the FD arrived they found the building pile and several automobiles burning, but all were handled easily.
Five people were believed to be inside the two apartments and four of them survived. The fifth resident was unaccounted for at first, but after a few hours the body of a woman was found in the rubble. The debris field of the blast covered a quarter-mile radius.
The local fire chief says that the house was heated by propane, but has not yet determined if that was the cause of the blast.
WCSH-TV posted this video report from the scene:
The coroner has claimed the body of the unidentified victim and removed it just after noon. Local and state investigators are now on the scene trying to find clues to the cause of the blast.
The Keenebec Journal has the story and details HERE. The Forecaster had MORE.
The Bangor Daily News has more HERE.
A DUPLEX HOME IN LEWISVILLE, TEXAS, was obliterated Friday afternoon a little more than two hours after a construction crew accidentally cut a gas main farther down the street. They were replacing a power pole when their auger hit the gas line six feet down.
The home exploded at 12:30 p.m., while crews were working to repair a gas leak. Construction workers mistakenly cut a 4-inch gas line in the area at about 10 a.m., investigators said.
Emergency crews at the time told NBC 5 they had the issue under control and that no evacuations were necessary. But fire officials later told another NBC 5 reporter that they had evacuated a block downwind of the gas leak. The house that exploded was not included in the evacuations.
None of the surrounding homes or businesses were damaged in the explosion.
A man who was inside the duplex was critically injured and taken to Medical Center of Lewisville. He underwent surgery and was later airlifted to Medical Center of Plano, where he was in intensive care Friday night. He is expected to survive.
The victim is believed to have been the only current resident of the duplex which is owned by a charitable organization which provides housing for people in need of assistance.
Two firefighters nearby were also injured and were treated and released.
Gas company and government authorities are continuing their investigation today into what caused the explosion.
KXAS-TV filed a good video report from the scene that includes some fire footage:
THREE MONROVIA, CALIFORNIA, MEN WERE CRITICALLY burned Sunday when their attempt to cook a batch of marijuana oil with a butane burner caused an explosion inside their house.
The Monrovia Patch is reporting:
Monrovia Fire Chief Christopher Donovan said the men were cooking marijuana in a back room at a home in the 200 block of East Walnut Avenue when the fire erupted.
"What we gather is they were cooking the marijuana down into what they call honey oil," Donovan said. "They had a small explosion in the back room which literally lifted the ceiling off the room."
Three men in the room at the time suffered critical burns and were transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital where they remain in critical condition, Donovan said. Two other residents in the front of the home were able to evacuate without injury, he said.
Read the entire article in the Monrovia Patch HERE.
The house ka-boomed around 5 am and the first-arriving units found the cottage well-involved with three burned men in the back alley.
Police said the men were likely using a new method called butane honey oil to extract the the hallucinogenic chemical tetrahydrocannabinols — or THC — from pot.
"The problem is, these people aren’t chemists," said Monrovia Police Sgt. Nick Manfredi, a department watch commander. "They’re trying to do this without proper training. They hear from a friend or go on YouTube to learn how to do this and it could be catastrophe."
KNBC-TV also filed this detailed video report from the scene:
Update: Cause of explosion still a mystery. Fire Chief says many more homes may have to be torn down. Scroll down.
Update #2: Videos added.
A THUNDEROUS EXPLOSION IN A SOUTH INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, neighborhood Saturday night completely leveled two homes and destroyed two more houses. At least two people are known to have died in the incident that occurred around 11 pm. So far, four eight people have been reported injured, but that count may rise.
The blast typical to a natural gas ka-boom is believed to have been triggered in one of the two houses that were demolished. The blast started fires in several other houses in the neighborhood a people for blocks around are reporting damages and upset furnishings.
Indianapolis Fire Dept. photo
The Indianapolis Fire Department elevated the response to two alarms and had 100 firefighters on the scene. By 12:30 am all of the fires were out.
Indianapolis Fire Department
The gas and electricity have both been shut off in the area while crews look for leaks and check out houses to see if they are safe to return to.
The Lafayette Journal and Courier adds:
Authorities fearing a gas explosion ordered an evacuation that sent residents walking through neighborhood streets and across nearby fields in slippers and pajamas, toting children in blankets, some with pets on leashes, some with their pets left behind. Within an hour, more than 200 people were huddling at the Mary Bryan Elementary School, a temporary shelter that soon was flooded with donations of food and supplies. Gas and electricity to the neighborhood was shut off and it's not clear when residents will be able to return.
The blast was so immense, the debris so widespread and the flames so bright that some initially thought it was the result of a plane crash, a notion that authorities quickly dismissed. While a gas explosion seemed most likely, Indianapolis Fire Department spokeswoman Bonnie Hensley said she's never seen a gas explosion that powerful.
"A lot of it looks like a tornado," Hensley said. "The extent of the damage is large and it goes out a pretty good ways."
So devastating was the scene that rescue workers were going door to door looking for victims and marking the houses that had been searched in much the same way tornado-stricken areas are notated.
"Every investigator in town is sorting through the rubble tonight," Hensley said at about 3 a.m. "We don't know if there are any more victims."
Indianapolis Fire Dept.
The Journal and Courier has more detailed reports of collateral damages to other homes plus an 18-image photo gallery HERE.
WRTV has more descriptions of the blast shock wave and anecdotes HERE.
Update, 3 pm Eastern:
The gas company has checked all of the mains in the area and no leaks were detected. Additionally, there have been no reports of gas smells in the area leading up to the time of the blast.
At a press conference this morning, Fire Chief Kenny Bacon made the following statements (via WTHR-TV):
Chief Bacon said the call initially came in as a residence fire with entrapment. "Our folks are right around the corner. The first commander on the scene hit a second alarm," the chief explained.
Seven people were transported to local hospitals, several from the scene and some who made it to Mary Bryan Elementary School and then were transported.
Bacon told reporters he initially estimated about 25 homes were affected when he got to the explosion scene last night, but he said he realized he had "underestimated by quite a bit once I saw it in daylight."
The chief also said there were "quite a few homes" that were some distance away from the point of the blast that sustained damage. All of those homes will be surveyed. The structural engineers' survey is expected to be complete by Sunday afternoon. Until it was finished, Chief Bacon urged patience.
Homes will be categorized as inhabitable, homes with enough damage that they're too dangerous to enter and homes that can be entered to retrieve belongings. "There are homes that will have to be torn down. There are homes that will be inhabitable within a day," said the chief.
Some of the videos that have been posted:
The early radio traffic has been posted via YouTube. First-arriving unit reports a structural collapse and "a lot of fires."
NEW MILFORD, CONNECTICUT, HOMEOWNER John Wilkinson smelled propane gas in his home Wednesday night and told his wife and children to leave the house and go to a neighbor's. Instead of calling the fire department, though, he called on his friend Anthony Fratino, 47, to come over and help him repair the propane leak in his water heater. Fratino came over and brought his 9-yr.-old son with him, then began helping Wilkinson with the repair.
It was around 6:40 pm when a massive explosion rocked the house and the neighborhood, killing the elder Fratino and leaving his son and Wilkinson critically injured with burns.
News Times photo
The entire house was demolished leaving only the chimney.
NBC News provided this video report:
The explosion was heard for miles away and neighbors nearby said that if felt like a car had just run into their house.
While the police and fire believe that everybody has been accounted for, they will still be bringing in a cadaver dog today to check the debris for any possible victims.
The Danbury News Times has the story and a 17- image photo gallery HERE.
MAPLE HEIGHTS, OHIO, FIREFIGHTERS were dispatched at 12:37 pm Tuesday afternoon to a report of an explosion at a single-family home. On arrival they found a vacant house with two walls blown out and several small fires throughout the building.
Maple Heights Fire Chief John Drsek III said investigators are checking into the possibility of a natural gas leak. Drsek said the home, located on 6105 Dunham Road, was vacant for 18 months and foreclosed on Aug. 3.
"What was left standing structurally was unstable," Drsek said. "We had no choice but to demolish the home. It was blown off its foundation."
Surrounding homes suffered damage, but not enough to force people to leave them, Drsek said. Debris was found throughout the neighborhood.
The home closest to the house that exploded suffered an undetermined amount of damage, but the fire chief said that home was also vacant.
Channel 8 News filed this video report from the scene:
AN 86-YR.-OLD MAN AND HIS 38-yr.-old grandson are in "guarded" condition today following a devastating explosion inside their home in Corning, New York. The massive ka-boom completely destroyed their home while heavily damaging four neighboring houses rendering them uninhabitable. Three others had significant damage and 15 -20 more had more minor damages. (Guarded condition means a patient’s injuries are life-threatening and that the patient is being watched closely, according to hospital staff.)
It is believed that Robert Young and his grandson Paul Young were doing some plumbing work in their basement when there was a gas leak inside that ignited while they were working. The Corning Leader is reporting:
The blast occurred at approximately 11 a.m. at 48 Wilson Street in the city’s Houghton Plot neighborhood, sending a shock wave that badly damaged nearby homes and was heard or felt all over the city.
Several bystanders who arrived on the scene shortly after the blast heard yelling and pulled two older men from the basement, beneath a huge, burning pile of debris. Both victims were badly burned and bleeding but were able to speak and walk.
Press and Sun-Bulletin
"I was home for lunch and heard the explosion, I looked out the door, saw smoke and quickly ran over to the site," said East Pulteney Street resident Dave Dann. "When I got there I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. The damage was something I thought I would never see."
"I heard two men in the basement screaming for help and ran over and started getting the debris which was blocking them in," Dann added. "Both could stand but were badly burned. You could see skin hanging. It was terrible. I even got a little burnt helping them out. It was awful. I’m glad they’re alive."
After being helped from the wreckage by bystanders and arriving police and firefighters, the victims were taken away by ambulance and airlifted to Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital.
WETM-TV filed this video report:
The Press and Sun-Bulletin has a 15-image photo gallery HERE.
WBNG-TV has more plus additional video HERE.
A MASSIVE AND DESTRUCTIVE EXPLOSION leveled a private dwelling in Niagara County, New York, early Tuesday morning. The blast occurred in a rural area of Wilson on the Lake Ontario shore around 6 am, and killed a 12-yr.-old girl. Her parents and two siblings were seriously injured and burned in the blast and were found by arriving firefighters laying outside the debris of what was left of their home. Two other children were not at home at the time.
Firefighters comb the debris looking for survivors (WIVT-TV)
When the firefighters arrived they were met with several spot fires throughout the debris and the challenge of finding the missing girl. She was soon located within the rubble, but was already dead.
The home reportedly was served by propane gas, but it is too early to determine if that was the cause or related to the explosion.
NBC News prepared this early report from the scene:
AT 11:15 AM A MASSIVE EXPLOSION ripped through a rowhouse in Oldham (Greater Manchester area) England this morning. The ka-boom completely leveled the multi-story brick home and caused significant damage to others in the area.
One child has been killed and a man suffered burns over 80% of his body and was quickly airlifted to the hospital. Latest word from the scene is that there is still a possibility that other victims are to be found in the wreckage. Firefighters are working at rescuing at least two more known victims under the rubble.
One terraced house was destroyed and three severely damaged. One man with 80% burns had been airlifted to Wythenshawe hospital in Manchester. A number of families had been evacuated and some people were not accounted for. Emergency services were trying to contact those who were missing.
Residents said they could smell gas earlier on Tuesday morning and reported it to the utility company.
"The next thing we knew there was an explosion. It shook the whole house," said Susan Tierney, who was visiting her parents in nearby Lyon Street. "I saw car doors and bits of black tiles go up in the air," said her sister, Janet Cooke. "I was in the back and heard the blow of it. The whole lot just went up in the air. The bang was like a bomb and all the cars on the road stopped."
Superintendent Neil Evans of Greater Manchester police said: "This is an ongoing search and rescue effort and we are offering our full support to the fire and other emergency services."
The Telegraph has filed this video report from the scene:
Update, 1pm Eastern: The homeowner is in burn unit with severe injuries. Fireworks permit further explained. Scroll down.
A 2-FAMILY DWELLING IN BIELEFELD, GERMANY, is left in pieces Monday following a bizarre fire that led to an explosive reaction Sunday afternoon.
All photos via Neue Westfalische
Twelve people were injured while trying to escape the fire, mostly from jumping out windows. The first-arriving firefighters were able to rescue two elderly people from the structure.
The fire began from an unknown cause in the basement where a large amount of fireworks were stored. The fire quickly involved the entire cache and set off the rounds of explosions.
Neighbors heard for more than a quarter of an hour a long continuous stream of explosions. Some missles flew uncontrolled through the area and exploded in colorful fire balls. Debris, stones and wood flew several hundred meters above the surrounding streets.
By the time the explosions were finished, the entire house was full ablaze and neighboring buildings were damaged.
Within a short time the house partially collapsed. Stones and chunks of building were hurled into the air landing 150 feet away. Nearby a carport was knocked down burying several automobiles. Many trees in the area were set on fire as well.
The firefighters attacked the fire with foam lines to knock it down.
About 150 firefighters and 100 EMS people were dispatched to the scene while nearby houses were evacuated for safety's sake. On Monday morning a contingent of fire investigators, police investigators and three explosives-sniffing dogs were on the scene, but unable to yet get into the basement where it is believed the fire began.
One of the residents is known to possess a "powder license" that permits him to purchase explosives for personal use. But there is no answer yet on why they were stored in the dwelling.
Update, 1 pm Eastern:
It has been reported in Hamberger Abendblatt that the 42-yr.-old homeowner received severe burns to his body and legs. He was flown to a burn center in Hanover. The unnamed man's powder license authorizes him to purchase and use for non-commercial purposes up to 10 kilos of Class I and II pyrotechnics, and 5 kilos of Class III and IV. However he is not allowed to store that large a quantity in a building that is a dwelling.
Neue Westfalische has the story and an extensive photo gallery HERE.
AN ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD IN GLENDALE, WISCONSIN, was rocked Saturday evening when a home on a quiet residential street exploded into flames and was completely demolished.
The blast occurred around 6:15 pm Central and many people in the area reported that their homes were physially shaken by the blast force. Two people were inside the home at the time, an 80-yr.-old man and his daughter. As the house was in splinters and blazing, a neighbor and a passerby rushed into the burnng debris and carried the man out who was seen sitting in his recliner chair. The woman apparently got out on her own. They were both transported and are still in the hospital, but no official announcement has been made on their condition.
WITI-TV Ch. 6 Milwaukee filed this video report from the scene:
The 3-alarm fire brought 10 engines and 4 trucks to the scene where the two houses on each side of the blast were also damaged. Investigation is just getting underway on the cause.
The Whitefish Bay Patch has a good, detailed report on the incident HERE.
"Just wanted to drop a line and say what a great blog you have going.
It keeps me up to date with everything that's happening around the fire world!
Thanks, and keep up the good work."
Locally Notable for Chicken Zoning Dispute
ROSWELL, GEORGIA, POLICE SAY THAT Andrew Wordes, 53 and known locally as "Chicken Man." is presumed to be the person found dead in his suburban house following a massive explosion yesterday while he was being served with an eviction notice. Marshals arrived at his home Monday to serve the notice and he would not permit them inside nor answer his door. They saw him through a window and began verbally providing the service. WSB-TV picks up the story:
Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik went to Wordes’ home on Alpine Drive, where Fulton County Marshals were gathered outside for the eviction Monday. Wordes told Petchenik he was scheduled for a court appearance that morning on a traffic citation but feared Marshals would repossess his home while he was gone, so he didn’t go.
Wordes called Petchenik and asked him to tell the Marshals to leave the property because it "wasn’t going to be pretty." Then, the home exploded.
"I appreciate everything, brother. I appreciate everything you've done," he told Petchenik before the explosion.
WSB-TV Ch. 2
The fire department confirmed that gasoline had been spread throughout the house and that a body had been found. It has not been positively identified yet, however.
Wordes gained notoriety a few years ago following a conflict with the zoning authorities over his illegal raising of livestock on his property. After serving three months in jail following his conviction for repeatedly disregarding the zoning violation notices he was given, Wordes had fallen behind in his mortgage payments and was being foreclosed on. Fox News explains the background:
Wordes lived in the two-story home on a quiet street for about 13 years and started raising poultry in 2005. At first he had only a few chickens, and most neighbors didn't seem to mind. But the complaints started pouring in after he got dozens more chickens, roosters that crowed day and night and then pigs, goats and dogs.
Andrew Wordes (FoxAtlanta file photo)
The city cited him for raising livestock in 2009, and Wordes made a splash on the Internet. Former Gov. Roy Barnes decided to represent him in his fight with Roswell, and his supporters wore yellow T-shirts and "I Love Chickens" buttons to a court hearing. A judge eventually dismissed the case against him but a few months later Roswell lawmakers approved new rules banning roosters and restricting the number of chickens residents can keep.
Read the entire FoxNews report HERE.
WSB-TV has more plus a photo gallery HERE.
FIREFIGHTERS IN VENDEE, FRANCE, WERE CALLED out last week for a house explosion. The neighborhood of mostly-vacation homes was shaken just before 9 pm last Friday when the violent explosion shook the whole area, causing many calls to the emergency center.
all photos via SDIS 85
When the firefighters arrived on the scene they found a single-story home completely blown apart. Four terraced houses around it were impacted and damaged by the explosion caused by a gas leak, apparently.
Forty-four firefighters arrived to begin rescue efforts for the occupants and after digging through the rubble they found a 90-year-old woman, alive and conscious. She was taken to the hospital where she is in serious condition. She was the only occupant.
This story and more photos are posted on the fire department's – SDIS 85 – own website HERE.
A DEVASTATING EXPLOSION LEVELED A CHANDLER, Arizona, house late Sunday night and caused enough damage to the home next door that it was destroyed also.
KTVK / AzAce
The withering blast that was felt up to two miles away immediately pulverized the house that had nobody in it at the time. The resident who was not at home was located later this morning and he confirmed that there should be nobody in the house or its debris.
The police soon declared that the incident was "suspicious" based on some early evidence that they had, coupled with the fact that the home did not have any sort of gas service to it.
KTVK / Roscoe
AZCentral News filed this video report from the scene:
* * *
Phoenix Channel 3 has filed this updated report just before 1 pm Eastern:
A full investigation is underway including agents from ATF. Already the investigators are telling the press that the explosion was intentional and not an accident.
KTVK-TV has more details, videos and a photo gallery HERE.
AN EXPLOSION DESTROYED A CHICAGO, Illinois, home this morning (Sunday) leaving the brick 1-½ story structure nothing more than a pile of rubble while setting the neighboring homes on fire.
The house was left in a pile of rubble. (Sun-Times photo)
The blast occurred at 6:30 am with two residents inside, a 46-yr.-old woman and her husband, age 61. Neighbors rushed outside to find the house completely leveled with the roof on the ground. The woman was found wandering in the rubble and the man who had apparently been in the basement found his way out. Both of them were in tattered clothing and suffering 2nd-degree burns. According to an FD spokesman, they were both transported in critical condition.
When the neighborhood swarmed out to see what had happened, there was a small fire burning, but the wind picked up and fanned the flames into a larger fire before the CFD arrived on the scene.
Firefighters work from the burned-out neighboring house
to douse hot spots in the debris of the blown-up home.
(Tim Olk photo)
The two houses on either side had windows blown out and in one case, portions of the roof blown through. Fires began in both houses and caused extensive damage to both.
The Chicago Tribune has the details and more including a video HERE.
The Sun-Times has MORE HERE.
ChicagoAreaFire has additional photos by Tim Olk HERE.
AN EXPLOSION AND FIRE IN ORANGE COUNTY, California, sent six people to the hospital Friday night with three of them in critical condition.
The first-in fire units found fire showing when they arrived at the house where 16 people, all family members, had been inside. Some of them were using a mixture of gasoline and turpentine to clean the floor after removing carpeting and the vapors found their way to pilot light of the water heater.
O. C. Register
The Orange County Register continues:
Two of the burn victims were in life-threatening condition and were taken to UCI Medical Center. Another was in critical condition and three suffered minor burns. The five men and one woman range in age from the mid-20s to mid-50s.
Battalion Chief Kris Concepcion said that some of the patients' burns were worse than they could have been because they did not follow the "stop, drop and roll" procedure when their clothes caught on fire. They ran instead, causing the flames to fan and the burns to intensify.
PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA, FIREFIGHTERS were called out shortly after 3 am Wednesday for what neighbors said was an explosion at a house in Lake Worth. When they arrived on the scene, the FD found a house fully involved but with the two residents safely outside.
WPTV-TV Ch. 5 filed this early video taken from their helicopter:
The Palm Beach Post adds:
John Pyke, who was in the house at the time of the fire, said he was awoken by an explosion and parts of the ceiling falling on him.
"I woke up, I pushed the debris off and pushed my way to the front door," Pyke said.
Unsure whether his sister was inside of the home or not, Pyke said he banged on the windows until he learned that she was safe next door. After that, he and his neighbor grabbed hoses and tried putting out the fire themselves until crews arrived.
The house and its contents were completely destroyed with parts of the building found as far as 200 feet away.
Palm Beach Post
Early indications point to a gas line that ran through the attic, but more investigation is needed.
A MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND, neighborhood was awakened at 3 am Wednesday when a house literally blew to pieces, critically injuring a couple believed to be in their 30's who were living there.
Montgomery County Fire & Rescue photo
The sound of the explosion was heard for miles around and when the nearest neighbors dashed out to look for the residents they found the man walking around calling for his wife. Shortly after, she was located laying on the ground about 20 feet away from the house's original location. The man is being treated for third degree burns, but is expected to survive. The woman, however, suffered life-threatening injuries and has a poor chance of survival.
The largest piece of the house remaining was a door that was found in a tree top about 100 feet away. The house was a rental unit and had been vacant for several months until the current residents moved in about a week ago. The total damages are estimated to be $750,000 including some damages to the nearby houses.
The fire investigators and representatives of the gas company found that the man had disconnected the gas laundry dryer on Tuesday and replaced the appliance with an electric dryer. Somehow he had done something improperly and created a gas leak in the laundry area that went undiscovered until late in the night when it found an ignition source.