State and local investigators are combing through the wreckage left by a gas explosion at a home in Richfield Thursday afternoon.
Richfield Fire Chief Brad Sveum said it could take months for investigators to determine what caused the blast that leveled one home and damaged two others. He says that home explosions from natural gas leaks are rare.
"Occuring in Richfield, honestly, I've been here 30 years. I cannot recall in that time a gas explosion ... of this magnitude here," Sveum said.
The fire chief said crews from CenterPoint Energy were at the home to restore natural gas services a few hours before the explosion, but he said there's no evidence that the crew caused the blast.
The explosion destroyed the home on the 7600 of 11th Avenue, just north of Interstate 494. No one was home at the time, Sveum said.
Two adjacent homes caught on fire as a result of the explosion. One of the homes sustained severe fire damage, but no one was injured.
Centerpoint Energy officials said there was no indication of an unintentional gas leak in the area around the home. Company spokeswoman Becca Virden declined to comment further and said the explosion remains under investigation.
Sveum said he hopes the incident will remind the public of the dangers of natural gas leaks. He said most leaks can be detected by their rotten egg odor.
Residents who suspect a natural gas leak should leave the building immediately and call 911 or the gas company, he said.