Calif. Explosion Under Investigation


The Sacramento Fire Department said it is trying to figure out what caused a vacant home to explode.

Investigators said it happened on 17th Avenue at 2:08 a.m. Sunday.

"It sounded like the sound barrier had broken," said Marilyn Taylor. "I thought it was an earthquake."

A loud boom literally rocked dozens of homes and woke up neighbors in the area.

"It rumbled ... it was an explosion," said neighbor Rodney Larkins.

"It scared the heck out of me. All the neighbors came out ... it scared everybody. Everybody thought it was a bomb I guess," said neighbor Richard Parra.

"There was just a horrendous boom. It shook the entire house. I was afraid that our house had exploded, like from underneath, but apparently it was next door," said Terri Slover.

Slover and her two children live next door to the home that blew up.

"I look out the back window and there was just an enormous ball of fire that came over into our backyard," Slover said.

Slover said she got her children, pets and got out.

"We are very thankful that everyone was OK," Slover said.

Sacramento firefighter responded to the scene in a matter of minutes.

"It was a very small house, so I guess the explosion if you look at it in simple terms, could have been a lot worse," said Sacramento Fire Department Chief Jim Doucette.

Firefighters said they were grateful no one was found inside the vacant home.

"It exploded for who knows what reason. A lot of times transients, people frequent these vacant homes," Doucette said.

Investigators said they are looking to see if a propane tank or if somehow something sparked natural gas on the property.

"I thought I had smelled gas but I wasn't sure ... so I just kind of dismissed it, and maybe a half hour later there was an explosion," Slover said.

PG&E quickly shut off the gas to the house and said unlike the deadly home explosion in Rancho Cordova in 2008, this case appears to be different.

"We've done a thorough gas leak investigation. There are no gas leaks leading up to the house, and no indication that there was a problem with the meter as well," said Brian Swanson, with PG&E

Fire officials said arson investigators won't be going into the scene until Monday because they are still waiting for extra resource to arrive. That's when they will determine exactly what caused this house explosion.

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