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Doorbell cam catches moment Phoenix house explodes

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Posted at 1:28 PM, Feb 08, 2022

PHOENIX — Doorbell cameras captured the moment a home exploded into pieces on Saturday in Phoenix.

It happened on a popular road for hikers just after 4:30 p.m.

Nobody was hurt during the explosion, officials said.

On Tuesday, investigators are surveying what is left of the multi-million-dollar home, nestled in the mountains of the Phoenix Mountain Preserves, that was leveled in a matter of seconds.

“We were just sitting in the living room, and it was like this huge explosion,” said next-door neighbor Jeff Buel.

Several neighbors’ homes were damaged and lost electricity when power lines caught fire. Broken and now boarded-up windows, glass, insulation, plywood, and steel were littered for blocks down 36th Street.

It was a close call for Buel, whose home is closest to the one that exploded.

“We didn’t know. We thought it was maybe our garage. But we quickly went out, and then our neighbor across the street was waving her arms, that house just blew up,” he said.

Buel recalled, "My son and I ran to the perimeter as close as we could get. And we were yelling into the house. We called 911. And then we went to the perimeter, and we were yelling into the house because I didn't want to go inside. We didn't know if there was another explosion or something. So we were just yelling, ‘Is anybody in there? Can you hear me?’ And we didn't get a response. Fortunately, the owners were not there. So very blessed.”

Firefighters with the Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Phoenix Fire departments responded to the explosion and worked overnight.

Captain Todd Keller with the Phoenix Fire Department said, “Six homes were damaged. Four to five of them were evacuated. Throughout the night, we had a fire engine on standby as we call a fire watch.”

Investigators are now working to figure out a cause.

“We have our Phoenix Fire Investigation Task Force, that is working with structural engineers that are working with the Fire Marshall with the City of Phoenix to help determine a cause,” Keller added.

Captain Keller tells ABC15 after speaking with Southwest Gas, there was no natural gas to the house from the company. He could not confirm if there were propane at home.

Christine Stanwood at KNXV first reported this story.