Riverside Explosion Levels Home, Damages Several Others

Image: Riverside Explosion Levels Home, Damages Several Others

Monday, 09 Sep 2013 09:50 AM

By Michael Mullins

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An explosion leveled one house and damaged several others early Friday morning in the Riverside, Calif.

No one was killed or injured in the Riverside explosion, that occurred shortly after 4 a.m., and authorities have still yet to determine the cause, ABC News affiliate KABC-TV reported.

The destroyed home was vacant at the time of the blast and reportedly had been been under construction for some time.

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"It's unfortunate someone's house blew up," said Capt. Bruce Vanderhorst with the Riverside Fire Department. "But we're also very relieved that no one was injured, and no firefighters were injured."

Though the investigation is ongoing, one possible cause could have been a natural gas leak, KABC-TV noted, though the police and fire investigators have yet to confirm it.

The explosion triggered two other fires at other area homes and reportedly significant damage to a neighboring house belonging to area resident Wayne Keller, who awakened by the blast fled his home with his wife and dogs without injury.

"We heard an explosion, and we got out of our bed, and when I came into the front room, both windows on that side of the house, the far side of the house, nothing but fire and flames," he told KABC-TV. "It was mayhem. You could hear the gas line just going like crazy."

"I thought it was an earthquake," area resident Mary Holley told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. "My son said it sounded like a car hitting our house."

Another resident, Gary Wolfenberger, told NBC-Los Angeles that the explosion "sounded like a trash truck dropped from a helicopter – It was just like, boom."

Keller added that the owners of the property were preparing to rent it out.

Vanderhorst told KABC-TV that he had never responded to an incident like it before, adding the scene left his crews speechless.

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"There’s no way to really describe this one," Vanderhorst said one firefighter told him.

Despite the house being vacated, a search and rescue dog was deployed to the rubble to make sure that no one was trapped underneath.

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