Sioux Falls, SD – “It looked like the spencer tornado.” Those were the words of a Sioux Falls Fire Investigator when he responded to this unbelievable scene this morning. A house literally exploded leaving nothing but fire and debris behind. It happened at the corner of 61st and Holbrook.
The home on the northwest corner of the intersection blew up, and the one to the north was badly damaged by fire. No one was hurt in the blast that happened about 4:40 Sunday morning, but several homes around were damaged.
This is home video shot just after the explosion. The sheer power of the blast prompted 9-1-1 calls from people thinking it was everything from a plane crash to gun shots. Darrick Bren shot the video and felt the shake from 2 blocks away. “All stuff in my garage was moved and fell down.”
By dawn the multiple fires sparked by the blast had been put out but a crowd of investigators and on-lookers were checking out the damage. Clinton Lewison lives about 2 miles away. “We thought the neighbor boy had thrown a large paper against the door.” Connie Peters says, “this is just unreal. You don’t expect this in your neighborhood.”
Soon an army of park workers were also cleaning what was left of the home out of the grass in Bakker Park. Everything from insulation to a roof truss thrown hundreds of feet by the power of the blast.
No one was hurt. Residents in both the home that exploded and the one to the north that burned were gone for the night. Several other homes did sustain damage. Anything from windows and doors that won’t open, to knocking a home off it’s foundation.
A nerve-wracking combination of total destruction and good fortune nobody was hurt in this early morning blast.
Late Sunday afternoon KSFY did receive an update from Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Fire Investigators. They say one of two gas appliances in the home, either the furnace or the water heater malfunctioned and filled the home with gas. Then something, and they don’t know what, caused that collected gas to explode.