House destroyed in explosion in Ypsilanti

- An explosion rocks an Ypsilanti Township neighborhood, now investigators are working to figure out how it happened.
 
The people inside the house made it out as it went up in flames - but neighbors say the house is known to attract trouble. 

Firefighters are still trying to figure out how it started. You can see the house is boarded up now. The homeowner was away when it started and came back in time to see it in flames.

Fifty-seven-year-old James Galanopoulos had walked up soon after in disbelief

"I guess you don't want to believe it's your house on fire, you're thinking its someone else's house," said Galanopoulos said. "But you come back here and the house is ablaze."

It happened around 1:30 p.m. Friday afternoon in the 1000 block of Hawthorne Avenue, thankfully no one was hurt.

One neighbor claims there was an explosion inside the house.

Ypsilanti Township Fire Chief Eric Copeland says as many as six people were initially inside the home.

"There were some occupants here that from what one of the witnesses told us," he said. "They were having a fire and were trying to put it out and once they we unsuccessful at that, they fled the scene."

The homeowner says he only knew of one person being at his house, a woman. A friend of friend who he could not get to leave.

"She came into my house and just she just moved herself in," he said. "Technically at that time under Michigan's laws if someone gets in your house they consider it residence. You got to go through a bunch of bull crap to put people out of your house

A spokesman for the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department says detectives don't know of any squatting or eviction type issues at the home.

Neighbors say it's been a problem property for at least a year with people constantly going in and out of the house, drug use and even fighting.

A neighbor claims he recorded a phone video of two people who came out of the house Monday and duked it out in the street.

As for Galanopoulos, Red Cross will put him up in a motel for a few days.

"I'm not sure what to make of it," said Galanopoulos. "But we got to figure out what we're going to do from here."

Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department is also investigating what happened here because there's so much damage it may take a while to figure out the cause of the fire.
 

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