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“It felt like a bomb went off': 1 dead after home explosion in Warren

Posted at 6:38 PM, Jul 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 17:48:34-04

(WXYZ) — One man is dead and nearly 15 homes are damaged after a condo exploded in Warren on Sunday.

It happened on Villa Pointe Drive, near Schoenherr and 11 Mile.

Neighbors say the explosion was felt more than a mile away, and scattered debris across the neighborhood.

Ring video from a block away away captured the moment the condo exploded, sending smoke, flames and debris into the air.

“It felt like a bomb went off," said Linda Goodrich, who lives a street over. "The whole house shook, the power flashed off and on and went completely out.”

The explosion leveled two of the condos and damaged roughly 15 buildings, including houses on other streets.

“All of a sudden the whole house shook," said Kevin Darragh, who lives nearby. "The window actually protruded in from the outside, we opened the door and there was debris a hundred feet in the air.”

Debris even landed on Schoenherr, which was blocked off by Michigan State Police. It also landed on rooftops and nearby yards.

“There's debris all over our street," Darragh said. "Shingles, pieces of roof, door hinges just strewn everywhere.”

All of the condos were evacuated as first responders searched for the homeowner of the unit that exploded. Hours later, the homeowner, a man in his 40s, was found dead.

“He was in the basement under a lot of debris and five feet of water,” said Warren Fire Commissioner Wilburt Skip McAdams.

McAdams says most of the damage was from the initial explosion. Neighbors speculated it could’ve been caused by a gas leak, but officials say the cause is still being investigated.

"That is one of the causes that we start with is natural gas," McAdams said. "It would be a prime suspect but until we have positive proof it’s only speculation right now.”

Despite all of the destruction, no other injuries have been reported and everyone who lives in the area has been accounted for.

McAdams said Salvation Army was also on scene helping to find housing for those whose homes were destroyed.

Photos from Jackie Alise below.

Stay with 7 Action News and WXYZ.com for updates.