Huber Heights, OH – Natural gas is suspected in an explosion Thursday afternoon, May 7, that ripped apart a dentist’s office, a city fire official said.

However, the investigation to pinpoint the cause of what happened at 5490 Chambersburg Road about 3 p.m. will take a couple of weeks, said the official, Battalion Chief Scott Hall.

Before the explosion, firefighters were in the area checking a report of gas, but detected nothing, Hall said, noting that Vectren workers in the area Tuesday night also found nothing.

No one was in the former residence that had been converted to an office belonging to Dr. Robert Joseph Smith. No one was in the structure at the time, and there were no injuries.

The concussion from the blast scattered bricks from the front facade across the lawn and blew off the roof.

“It was just a gas explosion,” Smith said. “I was down the street at my house when I heard it.

“I had been there around 9 this morning to pick up the mail.” Smith said he did not smell gas.

Smith, semi-retired, said he had been practicing there about 30 years.

Bill Burton, who lives across the street, said he was mowing his yard and smelled natural gas.

A little while later, the fire department checked the neighborhood following reports of a gas smell, he said.

About an hour later, Burton said, he was on his front porch when “a bunch of kids just went by and then ‘boom!’ It was like a movie.”

Several nearby homes were evacuated for a time immediately after the explosion.

The house was a total loss, Hall said.