Home explodes in south Columbus; fire department says no one was home

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–The Columbus Division of Fire is investigating an explosion at the corner of South Champion Ave and Stockbridge Road in south Columbus.

No one was reportedly injured. The home was vacant, as the owner had just closed on the house last Friday and had not moved in yet.

“I walked in the front door, got a phone call that said ‘get over here the house just blew up,'” said homeowner Bob Morrison.

He said there were people in the home earlier on Friday just hours before the explosion. He said those people did not smell anything suspicious.

Tom DeLong, Columbus Fire Battalion chief, suspects natural gas was the cause of the fire.

“If the leveled house is all that comes out of this, I think we’re pretty lucky,” DeLong said.

A neighboring house was also severely damaged in the blast. The American Red Cross is assisting those neighbors, a family of four, who are displaced from their south Columbus home.

“I don’t know if you can put Humpty Dumpty back together,” Morrison said. “I don’t know if you can fix that.”

Columbia Gas of Ohio has released this statement on the explosion:

We want to assure our customers and the Columbus community of the safe operation of our natural gas system.

Our crews assisting in the investigation of the reported explosion at 870 Stockbridge Road in Columbus conducted a thorough inspection of our natural gas main lines and service lines in the area and confirmed they are safe.

The results of our investigation thus far indicate that our natural gas main lines and service lines did not contribute to the incident. As our part of the investigation concludes, we will continue to support the Columbus Fire Department as they complete their investigation.

Our customers expect and deserve safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to their homes and businesses, and we are delivering it. Natural gas safety requires a partnership between Columbia Gas of Ohio, our customers and communities.

Firefighters will monitor the home overnight. Fire investigators will return to the scene Saturday morning to continue the investigation.

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