Fort Dodge Home Explosion Under Investigation

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FORT DODGE, Iowa -- It was an unforgettable afternoon.  "I looked out and I could see the roof lifting up and the debris going across the yard,  said Larry Ackerson who lives across the street from the home explosion that rattled the senses of Fort Dodge residents shortly before 1 pm Wednesday on the corner of Ninth Avenue South and South 31st Street.  "It felt like an earthquake. It just shook the whole house," said Larry.

Becky Habhab, another neighbor said the explosion fully engulfed the home in flames.  "We got up to look out the window and the front half of the house was literally gone. It just collapsed and everything was gone."

At least two residents were home at the time and escaped from the home with minor injuries as Fort Fodge Fire Fepartment, public works, and Mid-American Energy crews all rushed to the scene.  "The one guy walked out and dropped to his knees and held his head, so at that point you have no idea what is going on."

Assistant Fire Chief Lenny Sanders said no part of the home was sparred.  "Right now we are finding all the hot spots. There was fire in every portion of that home," he said.

Investigators still do not have an exact cause but they will also be looking into activity by city workers near the home.  "The city was working on a water main break at the time," said Assistant Chief Sanders.

Neighbors say they are breathing a sigh of relief knowing everyone is safe but understand a long road is ahead of them.  "Physically together but I`m sure it rocked them pretty good inside the house.  They all work the night shift over there so I am assuming they were in there asleep.  It would be a hell of a way to wake up," Habhab said.

The State Fire Marshall is expected to arrive to Fort Dodge Thursday morning and further the investigation.  No additional details are expected until that time.

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