WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) — A massive explosion of a condo in Warren sent smoke flames and debris in the air, causing significant damage throughout the neighborhood.
Investigators have not yet determined whether it was accidental or intentional, but Warren Fire Commissioner Wilburt Skip McAdams confirms there were no issues with the gas lines or gas meters.
It happened around 6:30 pm Sunday, on Villa Pointe Drive near Schoenherr and 11 Mile. The explosion was reportedly felt more than a mile away, sending smoke, flame, and debris into the sky.
Residents who live on Villa Pointe are stuck with the images of the chaotic scene.
“It's awful," said neighbor Colleen Schram. "I witnessed a body being carried out last night which was absolutely horrendous.”
One man inside the condo that exploded was found dead in the basement, which is now all that remains. Pieces of the condo went flying into nearby homes and yards, ripping off garage doors and causing significant damage.
“Yeah it’s pretty devastating," said neighbor Peggy Forletta. "I'm sure I lost everything.”
Forletta lives just a few doors down from the explosion and returned to find her condo nearly destroyed. She also discovered her cat had died in the fire.
“I was hopeful," Forletta said of finding her cat. "She looks peaceful and everything. I'm just sorry it was smoke inhalation."
According to McAdams, the blast caused more than $1 million in damages to at least 15 homes and condos. At least 3 condo units will have to be demolished, others are still being looked at.
"When they let us in today they said my place is a little unstable. We could go in, but it wasn’t like real secure”
“Inside the ceilings, all the nail pops are out. Everything is off the walls,” said Tara Young, whose mother lives across the street from the explosion.
Young says her mother won’t be able to return for months, if ever. The condo might have structural damage, but her cat was found alive.
“She’s alive, the cat is alive," Young said. "The rest is insurance's problem.”
Despite all the destruction, no one else was injured. Those who were home at the time directly in the path of debris, are thankful they were unharmed.
“I don't think I'm lucky, I'm blessed," said neighbor Callie Wright. "I'm still alive.”