Gas leak the suspected cause of Detroit house explosion, says city official

Clean-up continues following a house explosion in the middle of the afternoon at the corner of Florence and Sussex. One house is gone, and seven others sustained damage..

Remarkably no one was seriously hurt in the blast at the corner of Sussex and Florence in Detroit.

"We just heard a loud boom. It sounded like it was downstairs," said neighbor Summer Calhoun.

It wasn't downstairs, but rather six blocks from her house, according to Detroit Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison, they are working hard to determine why a house would explode in the middle of the day.

"Preliminarily, we believe it was a gas explosion, that is what all indications are leading to," he said.

The Detroit Fire Department says no one was currently living at the home, but the owner was doing renovation.

"She (the homeowner) was there, but she left," said DFD Deputy Chief Darrell Freeman. "She doesn’t know what happened."

In fact, while we were at the scene, the homeowner arrived.

She didn't want to be interviewed but did say that earlier in the day she smelled gas. Others in the area tell us have smelled gas over the weekend and reported it to DTE.

"He smelled it the corner of Florence and Sussex," said neighbor Lisa Thornton.

FOX 2: "Right where the explosion was?"


Lisa Thornton had some damage at her house due to the explosion, one of eight residents to be directly affected.

"Even the house that is next door, you can tell somebody lives there, and the TVs are still mounted to the wall, and the whole side of their house is gone," said Thornton.

"The lady says she was in the living room but is fine," Freeman said.

The focus now turns to clean up. DTE turned off the gas and power to the home, so officials can pinpoint a source to ensure this can't happen again. 

"The good thing about it is no one got injured," Freeman said.

Despite the heavy damage, just one person inside the house next door - complained of scrapes and bruises. Very minor.

The city did put two people in motels for the evening and don't know when it will deemed safe for them to return.