1 dead after explosion flattens house in Royal Oak

1 dead after explosion flattens house in Royal Oak

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Water is sprayed on the blaze resulting from the house explosion.  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Water is sprayed on the blaze resulting from the house explosion. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
The explosion leveled the house on Cooper Avenue  (Credit: Fox 2 News) The explosion leveled the house on Cooper Avenue (Credit: Fox 2 News)
A closer look at the flames and the debris  (Credit: Fox 2 News) A closer look at the flames and the debris (Credit: Fox 2 News)
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WJBK) -

A deadly house explosion rocked Royal Oak and several surrounding communities Wednesday evening.  We've learned a 58-year-old man was killed in the blast.

We talked to Royal Oak's fire chief, a 25-year veteran, who said this was the worst thing he has ever seen.  He also said it is a miracle that no one else was killed.

A Fox 2 viewer took several snapshots after the explosion.  Click here to see his photos.

"There was glass all over our house and all of our windows were broken," said Kate Sikora.  "First thing we thought was that there was a gas explosion and that there was a fire, and we were all really terrified."

That terror turned into sadness and despair when everyone realized that the man who lived inside the home that exploded lost his life.

"Obviously our hearts go out to that victim's family," said Debra Dodd from Consumers Energy.

Plenty of people who live on Cooper Avenue near Nakota have told us that Consumers Energy crews have been working on the block for a couple of days.

"We did have a three person crew working in the area earlier today," Dodd said.  "At this time, we do not know the cause.  Everything is still under investigation."

"We have to just basically sift through evidence.  We have to try to recover the gas meter if its not to heavily damaged and then test the pipe leading to the home," she added.  "[There are] a lot of different steps, and it could take weeks or months to determine what actually happened."

This eruption in Royal Oak caused quite a fire, broke windows and damaged dozens of homes.

"It's about 30 to 35 homes that we believe are affected at this time," said Dodd.

"The house on either side [are] totally uninhabitable," said witness Garry Denton.

Businesses three blocks away are also damaged.  Windows were blown out at Premiere Technology Exchange on Woodward Avenue between 13 and 14 Mile.

"The building shook, so I actually thought something hit the building like a semi truck," said Robert Campbell.  "Debris fell from the ceiling here.  We have a cracked window.  The next door neighbors... have several windows broken out."

At USA Transmission a few doors down along Woodward, more windows were also blown out by the blast.

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