A retired firefighter pulled the homeowner out of the house, which was reduced to rubble on Beaverland between Wadsworth and Plymouth.
He is at Detroit Receiving Hospital, he suffered some burns and cuts from the explosion, which happened between 7:30 and 8 p.m.
Debris including shreds of siding was littered as far as 100 feet from where the house stood.
"I was a sleep and all of a sudden I heard this big explosion," neighbor Belinda Cooper said.. "I was so disoriented because I just got up. I came out, went to the side of my house and saw fire."
The explosion destroyed the house and damaged neighboring homes, including Cooper's.
"My door is completely gone on the side," she said. "My windows are gone on the side. My car is in the driveway and I can't see it."
Detroit firefighters say they were told that the resident was doing some type of work at his house with possibly propane.
"He had some type of gas tanks in the basement," said one firefighter at the scene. "The front door to the home is across the street."
DTE Energy is working on shutting off the gas hook up to the residence and say it was not a natural gas explosion.
There was not an update available on the man's condition Friday night. It is not known if the retired firefighter who saved the man was a random passerby or neighbor.