Early Friday, a house in a Maryland suburb of Washington DC was leveled by a thunderous explosion heard for miles around. According to authorities, the blast was so powerful, it shattered windows and caused other damage to several neighboring homes.
Details of the explosion:
A fire official said that the explosion rocked community of Rockville in Washington, D.C. at around 1 a.m. The cause wasn’t immediately known.
Despite neighbors saying that a man lived in the home, authorities didn’t obtain any reports of injuries. Investigators are unaware of the man’s immediate status or if the house was occupied at the time. At daybreak, investigators and search and rescue dogs arrived to the scene
Chief spokesman for Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service, Pete Piringer, said: “It’s just a pile of debris; it’s just a pile of bricks. There’s not anything left of the house.” “I’ve heard there were calls from miles away, people calling,” he added.
Luzia Ricci was one of the neighbors who was awaken by the powerful blast. Their neighborhood is a modest, mostly one-story single family homes. She said: “I could feel it underground. I was wondering, ‘Are we having an earthquake?’ But it was so short.”
Ricci saw flames from her backyard after she went outside to see what was going on. She tried to get closer along with her daughter but she heard another pop which made her back away. Her husband got closer however and was able to capture a video of the fire.
Piringer described home damage as catastrophic and that around a dozen other houses, mostly made of brick, were damaged by a large debris field created by the blast.
Several frantic calls were made to 911, which brought 75 firefighters. They were able to put out the fire in the rubble in only 20 minutes
Too early to determine the cause:
According to Piringer, authorities had no further information concerning the status of the occupant. He added that investigators will check the rubble during the day to try to pinpoint what had happened.
A gas explosion was one possibility of the blast, although there were no reports of any gas leaks before it. Authorities have no additional information so early into the investigation.
Utility workers turned off gas and power at the home and others nearby, as a precaution. A number of area residents have been displaced after fire and utility officials went door to door asking neighbors to leave for their safety. The site was cordoned off by yellow police tape.
Piringer added that the same neighborhood has seen a house leveled by an explosion recently. An explosion destroyed a home on the same street in May 2011 after a resident disconnected a clothes drier’s gas service without capping the line, killing two people.