Henderson, NV – Las Vegas Review-Journal – An explosion that leveled a Henderson home was caused by a natural gas leak, authorities said Tuesday.

One person, former television reporter and government spokeswoman Cathy Hanson, was in the home when it exploded.

Fire officials said she was injured but declined transportation to a hospital.

“The lady was extremely lucky to be alive,” said Don Spellman, a fire investigator for the Henderson Fire Department.

The explosion occurred shortly before 6 a.m. Tuesday, near High View Drive and Valle Verde Road in Green Valley.

Firefighters found flames coming from the garage area of the townhouse. The explosion already had destroyed the front area of the home.

Within 15 minutes of their arrival, firefighters doused most of the flames.

“Underneath the driveway was where the leak was found,” Spellman said. “The probable ignition source was the gas hot water heater.”

Neighbors reported smelling natural gas in the area several hours before the explosion but did not contact authorities.

Damages were estimated at $350,000.

More than two dozen public safety personnel responded to the scene, where Southwest Gas and Nevada Power secured the utilities.

Hanson resigned as director of communications for the city of Las Vegas in 1999. She had joined the city in 1994 after serving as spokeswoman for then-Mayor Jan Jones’ failed gubernatorial campaign.

She previously worked as a reporter for KTNV-TV, Channel 13.