MD – NBC4 – An explosion and fire destroyed an unoccupied home in District Heights, Md., Monday afternoon.

The impact of the explosion was so intense, it melted and blew off the siding on the home next door, and it melted the siding on homes 30 yards away.

Fire investigators worked into Monday evening, combing through what was left of the house in the 2100 block of Wintergreen Avenue, trying to find the cause of the explosion.

They fire investigators were joined by a small army of technicians and engineers from the Washington Gas Company.

Officials said the explosion happened just after 3:30 p.m. Neighbor Andre Scarborough said he thought something had crashed into the house.

“I just heard a loud explosion and I just looked outside and the side of the roof flew off,” Scarborough said.

Other neighbors said the front wall of the house appeared to be bulging out just before it exploded.

The homeowner told News4 he had smelled gas outside his house for more than a month, and he also said he called Washington Gas to report the problem.

Miquel Gonzalez, a spokesman for the utility confirmed that a new gas line to the home was installed just 11 days ago.

Officials said it could take weeks for the investigation to be completed.