Possible Natural Gas Explosion Rocks Des Moines Neighborhood, Minor Injuries Reported

DES MOINES, Iowa – Emergency crews responded to the scene of an explosion believed to be caused by natural gas in Des Moines’ Union Park neighborhood Friday morning.

Lt. Chris Bolton with the Des Moines Fire Department says emergency responders were called to the 1100 block of Arthur Ave. on a report of an explosion at 3:13 a.m.

When crews arrived they found flames coming from the exploded home and damage to several surrounding homes. Firefighters smelled natural gas in the area and held back fighting the fire until MidAmerican Energy arrived and turned off the gas. Once that was done, they were able to put the flames out fairly quickly.

A full investigation to determine the cause of the explosion is being completed, but officials believe a natural gas leak is likely the source.

Bolton says only minor injuries, none requiring a trip to the hospital, were reported.

Debris from the explosion is littering the street in front of the home. Arthur Avenue is closed between the 900 block through the 1300 block and officials expect the road to be closed throughout the day.

A neighbor tells us he was asleep when the large explosion woke him. He said the impact blew out the windows of his home. He was able to get his family out of the house safely.

Neighbors in the area have been evacuated but those that are outside of the taped off area have been allowed to return to their homes.

The Red Cross is responding to the scene and will be assisting those who have been displaced.

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