“It hit me like a ton of bricks,” Employee at home just seconds before explosion

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A metro man is counting his blessings after the home he was at exploded over the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, emergency crews were called to the 10800 block of N.W. 32nd Terrace following an explosion.

In all, one home was leveled and four others were damaged.

Thomas Fleet was at the home just seconds before the explosion.

"As soon as I opened the door, it hit me like a ton of bricks, just the smell of gas," Fleet told KFOR.

Fleet, who works for Homes by Taber, went to the home to check the sprinkler system.

Once he opened the door, he could smell gas and knew there must be a leak in the home.

He immediately stepped back and decided to call to report the leak.

“I was starting to walk back down the driveway and that's when I heard the boom and then I was just on my face in the driveway,” he said.

When he turned around, he saw the home in shambles.

“I just remember looking up and just being confused,” he said.

Investigators say a gas stove had been stolen from the home.

“They left the gas on, didn't shut it off or just ripped the hose from the wall,” said Oklahoma City Fire Battalion Chief Tommy Lago.

Fleet had been at the home the night before to change the locks and show the home to a potential buyer.

Even though all the doors had been locked, police say there was evidence someone had pried a back door open.

The stove was taken but the gas line left open, slowly filling the home with natural gas.

“It's just a bomb in there once the gas is ignited. It really is,” Lago said.

Fleet walked away with just a few scrapes and bruises.

“It threw me down, so all the debris went over me instead of on me,” he said.

Homes by Taber tells us construction theft is a big problem. Just this year, they have already had close to $10,000 in materials stolen from construction sites. That number does not include this most recent incident.

Fleet says this is the first problem in this particular neighborhood. He says it’s surprising considering the neighbors.

“We have two police officers living on the cul-de-sac, so someone was gutsy to try and do something like that,” he said.

Homes by Taber says last  year they dealt with close to $50,000 in stolen materials.

Investigators don’t know what ignited the gas, they say it could have been static electricity or possibly a pilot light.