2 critically injured when home explodes in Harper Woods

- WEB UPDATE (4:33): DTE has released a statement regarding the Harper Woods house explosion Friday that injured three people - two critically. It said that there were no gas leak reports from the neighborhood before the incident - and no leaks found at the site.

"DTE pressure tested the existing gas lines and found no leaks. Both the main and service lines were confirmed to be operating properly and within specified pressure.  

"State police and local authorities have taken control of the scene and are investigating.
We are supporting the authorities' ongoing investigation into the incident. Again, our immediate thoughts go out to those who were injured today.

We maintain the safety and integrity of our system of underground natural gas pipes through a robust program of inspections, maintenance and upgrades.

In any situation, if you smell or suspect a gas leak:
•    Leave the area at once
•    Go to a location where you no longer smell gas, outside of the house or building
•    Call 800-947-5000 immediately to report it."

The explosion happened on Lennon Street, which is near Harper Avenue and the I-94 Service Drive. Police say a 66-year-old man is in critical condition and a 33-year-old female is in stable condition. They were in front of the home before the explosion. 

Police say a gray home adjacent and one door of the explosion had significant structural damage. A 36-year-old man was inside and was able to escape the house, but was injured. He collapsed on the front lawn and a officer flagged down an ambulance. He was transported and released.

Deputy Chief Jim Burke with Harper Woods Public Safety says one person was opening the door of the home, which might've caused a spark if the home was full of gas. He says the two men entering the home were knocked down from the impact. 

Stager says they believe the home was up for sale and was being renovated. He didn't elaborate on how badly the two people were injured but said their condition is expected to improve.

Police confirm Poupard Elementary School and Parcells Middle School in nearby Grosse Pointe Woods have been told to shelter in place, and that some nearby neighbors have been evacuated.

DTE Energy is on scene and we're told crews will be digging up the gas line to make sure the neighborhood is safe.

FOX 2 spoke with a woman named Amy who was about two blocks away driving down the service drive when it happened.

"We just saw a roof in the air. We didn't even know what we were looking at," she said.

Another woman, Angel, said the impact shattered a window in her home nearby.

"It was crazy. I immediately came outside and made sure everyone was okay. It was indescribable. I didn't know what was happening," Angel said. "It was terrifying."

Tonya Griffith says she was in her office when it happened and the explosion knocked all the books off the walls in the library.

"We see a guy laying out on the ground, looks like he's unconscious," she said.

Authorities haven't confirmed yet what caused the explosion.

Later Friday afternoon, DTE Energy issued the following statement: 

"Our heartfelt concern goes out to those who were injured today at the Harper Woods home.
We are supporting the investigation into the incident and until the investigation is complete we will not speculate on the cause. Out of an overabundance of caution, we have crews on-site and have measured pressure on the main and it is within our operating guidelines. We have also completed leak testing within the impacted area and and at this time have concluded there are no leaks. Customer Safety is our #1 priority at DTE. We maintain the safety and integrity of our system of underground natural gas pipes through a robust program of inspections, maintenance and upgrades. 
In any situation, if you smell or suspect a gas leak:
• Leave the area at once
• Go to a location where you no longer smell gas, outside of the house or building
• Call 800-947-5000 immediately to report the situation"

FOX 2 has a crew at the scene and will continue to update you with the latest information.

Lawanda Villard says she was at her office when she heard a big boom and the building started shaking.

"To hear something like that, to shake the building, I mean you don't know what to expect," she said.
Another witness, Casey Drumm, says he lives right behind the home that exploded.

"I thought maybe somebody broke into the house," he said.

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