Royal Oak house explosion kills at least one, damages 35 homes

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) - Royal Oak fire crews responded to a house explosion Wednesday evening that killed one person and left 35 homes damaged.

Crews fought a massive blaze at a house on Cooper Avenue, near Massoit Road, just north of Normandy and east of Woodward Ave.

The Royal Oak fire chief confirms a 58-year-old man died in the blast.

PHOTO GALLERY: Images from the scene of Royal Oak house explosion

Neighbor Kate Sikora told 7 Action News "all of a sudden there was this huge boom and all the glass started breaking and debris started falling from the sky." Sikora says Consumers Energy crews have been working on gas lines in the neighborhood all day.

"The explosion was so loud and the I felt the heat, it pushed me back, it was scary," explained neighbor Manliela Manea.

Another eyewitness said the explosion sounded like, "A big, big, big bomb."

Officials from the medical examiner's office were on the scene after 7:00 p.m.. 

Windows on neighboring homes were knocked out in the explosion which happened just after 5:00 Wednesday evening.

Consumers Energy confirms 35 homes were damaged in the explosion. Residents are being relocated to the Quality Inn in Troy. An investigation will be conducted.

Neighbors and workers in local businesses tell 7 Action News that the explosion could be heard and felt for several miles away.

Immediately after the explosion tweets from several 7 Action News viewers described a large boom and lots of smoke coming from the home.

Stay with 7 Action News and for the latest on this breaking story.

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