OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A house exploded in Oklahoma City Friday afternoon, the blast reducing the home to a massive pile of debris, and authorities are working to determine what caused the explosion.
“It felt like a bomb had happened, a big old bomb,” said neighbor Esperanza Hernandez.
Emergency radio traffic reported that a home exploded in the 2000 block of NW 40th, near NW 39th and Penn, at around 3:30 p.m.
Members of the Oklahoma City Fire Department and Oklahoma City Police Department learned that one man lives at the home.
Two K9 teams were called to the scene to search through the debris.
Police Department officials later confirmed that no one was inside the home when the explosion occurred.
Officials eventually got ahold of the home owner, who is currently in Waco, Texas. They said he was shocked when they told him his house exploded.
The neighbor who reported the explosion told authorities earlier that the homeowner was likely not home because he drives a pickup truck, and the pickup was not present when the explosion occurred.
Crews are attempting to determine the cause of the explosion.
Fire officials said a strong natural gas odor was detected.
“We’re waiting for confirmation from [Oklahoma Natural Gas], but when firefighters did arrive, there was a smell of gas in the area,” said Capt. Scott Douglas with the Fire Department. “And we did have a couple neighbors advise us that they called ONG a couple days ago on some gas issues that was happening up and down the street at some of these houses.”
ONG personnel are investigating the scene. The gas company issued the following statement Friday evening:
“Our crews have responded to the 2017 NW 40th Street location in Oklahoma City and are working with the Oklahoma City Fire Department. More information will be released once the emergency officials have completed their investigation.”
However, ONG issued another statement a few hours later, saying initial investigation results show the home had no issues with the gas system. The full statement is as follows:
“Initial results from our crews’ investigation at the 2017 NW 40th Street location in Oklahoma City suggested no issues within the Oklahoma Natural Gas system. We continue to partner with Oklahoma City first responders on their ongoing investigation into this incident.”
Fire officials said they shut off the gas at the location and turned off all power that the home was receiving.
It’s heartbreaking that a community member lost his home, Douglas said.
“It’s tough to see a house with one of our residents in Oklahoma City, their house leveled to the ground. It’s disheartening that we have a neighbor who is without a home,” he said.
The Oklahoma County Assessor Office’s website shows that the home in the below image is the home that exploded: