Grand Rapids, MI- Timothy Dailey can’t stay in his home on Grand Rapids’ Southeast Side, after a 3 a.m. explosion which may have been caused, fire officials said, by a gas leak.
Dailey had a normal late night out with friends on Friday.
Unexpectedly, the action picked up when he came home at the end of the evening.
Just before 3 a.m., Dailey walked in the back door of his Merrifield Street SE home and flipped the light on. In the next instant, he was launched into the air, hitting a wall 10 feet away.
Dailey got up, uninjured. The house was full of smoke and he wasn’t sure what had happened. Luckily, he said, a neighbor had heard the blast and called 911.
“When you walk in the door and turn a light switch, you don’t expect it to go, ‘boom,'” he said. “I had no idea what threw me all the way across the room.”
Dailey, 38, joked Saturday afternoon about the explosion, but he admitted the experience had been “pretty frightening.”
When firefighters arrived, the house was still standing but had structure damage. Smoke was coming from the eaves, Grand Rapids Fire Department Capt. Bruce Veldkamp said.
Andrew Scoggin Timothy Dailey returned to his Grand Rapids’ Southeast Side home just after a 3 a.m. Saturday, and flipped on a light, then felt the blast.
Investigators are still looking into the explosion, but the gas meter was shut off after firefighters smelled natural gas near the front door, Veldkamp said. Dailey said he hadn’t smelled anything out of the ordinary before the explosion, which he said seemed to come from the basement.
Dailey said he is a first-time homeowner and moved into the house in April. He had been fixing it up, plastering and painting the walls.
On Saturday, the right side of the white house bulged and there was a hole in the lower left side. Jagged edges of glass were what remained of several windows.
Dailey’s family has taken him in for the time being. Some of his belongings were salvageable, but most of it — like his wardrobe — is definitely gone.
Former Grand Rapids Board of Education member Amy McGlynn was awake in her home a couple doors down when the blast happened. Fireworks have been going off in the neighborhood all week, she said, so she might have heard it but ignored it.
When McGlynn looked down the street after fire crews had been there a while, she saw Dailey sitting in the yard.
“He looked kind of shaky,” she said. “Which, you know, I think he has every right to have been.”