Two homes were seriously damaged when an underground natural gas pipeline exploded in a residential neighborhood late last week. The fire department was notified by a nearby homeowner who called with the apt, but odd, information, “I think the house blew up next door.”
The source of the blast was under a home that was going through renovations; no one was at the house at the time of the natural gas explosion. A next door neighbor to that home caught on fire as a result of the blast, also suffering serious damage. Shrapnel from the explosion landed on the neighboring house, triggering the blaze that spread to the attic and made the house unlivable.
The neighbors and their dogs escaped without injury. Their car was destroyed by shrapnel as well and the door of their garage completely blown off by the explosion.
The natural gas burst occurred just after 4 a.m. in Riverside, California. Some residents assumed that it was just an earthquake – not uncommon for that area of the country. But emergency responders and leaping flames likely dispelled that idea quickly.
The initial investigation has led to a report that a buildup of natural gas in the pipes of the home under renovation led to the blast.
Source: LAist, “Gas Explosion Levels House, Sets Neighboring Home Ablaze,” September 6, 2013