Topeka, KS – House Explosion

Kara Fullmer

A huge explosion blows apart a two story home in the middle of a busy Topeka neighborhood. Firefighters responded to a call around five o’clock Friday evening that a home at 3819 Asbury Lane had literally blown apart. The explosion blew off the front of the home, sending glass and debris into the streets. Neighbors felt the blast for blocks around.

“The last one I can remember was back in the late 80’s, said Cheif Dave Sterbenz of Topeka Fire, “It doesn’t happen very often.”

Fire officials say a natural gas leak in the home caused the explosion, and even after the dust settled, they soon discovered the danger wasn’t over.

“We had to reflare the gas because we thought we had the gas shut off and we did not. So as long as what’s coming out is allowed to burn, there’s no raw material creating a hazard,” Sterbenz said.

Neighbors say no one lived in the home. It had been vacant for more than a month.

“We’ve accounted for all the people in a 360 degree radius and everyone is okay,” said Sterbenz.

Much of the debris landed in neighbors yards and on their homes. Neighbor Mark Phelon says the shock of the explosion impacted his home two doors down in more ways than one.

“I’m going to make sure my gas works good that’s for sure,” Phelan said emphatically, “No leaks.”

Firefighters say they still do not know how the gas leak started and it looks like it will take several more days of investigation before they find a cause.