Cause of deadly blast at Royal Oak home under investigation - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Cause of deadly blast at Royal Oak home under investigation

Posted: Updated:
The spot where a home used to stand on Cooper Ave. in Royal Oak. The spot where a home used to stand on Cooper Ave. in Royal Oak.
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WJBK) -

Officials are investigating the cause of an explosion that leveled a suburban Detroit home, killing a man and damaging other houses in the neighborhood.

Consumers Energy says its crews had been on Cooper Ave. in Royal Oak where Wednesday's blast happened in recent days to replace a natural gas main. It wasn't known whether that was related to the blast. They say they're working with the feds on the investigation because the National Highway Transportation Board is in charge of those pipes.

"There had been Consumers Energy working here all day, for days," said neighbor Garry Denton. "As soon as we opened the door and saw the house destroyed and the fire, we knew was it was because Consumers has been here for two days."

The subsidiary of Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. says it's working with police, fire and state officials on an investigation, which could take months.

"I've never seen anything like this," said Royal Oak Mayor Jim Ellison, who surveyed the scene Thursday morning. "I watched the coverage on TV, but I wasn't prepared for this."

The blast around 5 p.m. was heard several miles away. Burning and smoking wood planks from the home were scattered nearby as firefighters rushed to put out the flames.

At least 35 nearby homes were damaged. Those residents have been evacuated until further notice. Officials are escorting them inside their homes to gather belongings.

Nicholas Sikora who lives near the blast site says he helped his next door neighbor. "We ran over there, helped a bunch of people. We got her in our kitchen, and we were able to make sure, she was fine, amazingly. Here's this older woman and all she had was a little cut on her leg."

Consumers Energy is footing the bill for their hotel stays while the investigation continues.

The identity of the 58-year-old man who died wasn't immediately released by authorities.

- The Associated Press contributed to this story

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • City of Detroit posts improvement updates online

    City of Detroit posts improvement updates online

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:18 AM EDT2014-07-31 11:18:29 GMT
    Residents will be able to view the number of new streetlights installed in their Detroit neighborhood, how many lots were mown and the number of vacant houses demolished by going to the city's website.
    Residents will be able to view the number of new streetlights installed in their Detroit neighborhood, how many lots were mown and the number of vacant houses demolished by going to the city's website.
  • Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family

    Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:55 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:55:10 GMT
    Nearly a week after 14-year-old April Millsap was found murdered in the small town of Armada, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young girl gather for music in the park - this time hoping for justice.They were there to help raise money to ease the burden on April's heartbroken mother."We're as well as can be expected," said aunt Sarah Lichtenfelt. "They are just grateful for all the prayers and support, that's all we ask is to keep praying for strength."In the middle of it all...
    Nearly a week after 14-year-old April Millsap was found murdered in the small town of Armada, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young girl gather for music in the park - this time hoping for justice.They were there to help raise money to ease the burden on April's heartbroken mother."We're as well as can be expected," said aunt Sarah Lichtenfelt. "They are just grateful for all the prayers and support, that's all we ask is to keep praying for strength."In the middle of it all...
  • Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:33:46 GMT
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices