A house explosion that resulted in no deaths or injuries rattled a western Independence neighbhorhood early Tuesday afternoon.
The one-story home was located in the 2400 block of Vermont Avenue, and police said the blast occurred around 12:30 p.m. Independence Police reported Tuesday night that investigators from the Independence police and fire departments plus Missouri Gas Energy had determined that the explosion was the result of a natural gas leak. They hadn’t pinpointed the exact source but said it was inside the house.
Police Public Information Officer Darrell Schmidli said the residents had lived at the home for more than 30 years.
“It sounded like a hutch falling down,” Lora Van Becelaere said about the explosion, who lives a couple blocks away from the incident on Englewood Court. “You heard a pop-pop-pop and my ceiling breathed.”
Monica Ayers, who said she lived a couple houses south of the now leveled home, was inside her residence when the explosion occurred. She said she darted outside moments afterward and rummaged through the debris to try to make sure no one was underneath it. She, along with another neighbor, managed to find two dogs. One did not survive, she said.
“Another black and white dog came running out of a shed (during the explosion),” added Ayers. Schmidli also reported that three cats were inside the home at the time of the explosion. Their conditions are unknown.
Two firefighters at the scene were treated for heat exhaustation and were taken to an area hospital.