An explosion that one neighbor described as like “an atomic bomb” leveled a house on Eighth Avenue, south of Lake Michigan Drive on Friday afternoon.
There was little left of the one-story house, 10543 Eighth Ave., after the 4:20 p.m. explosion. It was believed caused by a build-up of natural gas.
No one was inside the rental home. There were no injuries, authorities said.
The tenant had moved out Thursday. The house’s owner, Robert Rodenhouse, speculated to police the tenant may have taken a clothes dryer from the basement.
Rodenhouse wondered whether the connection was sealed off properly, Tallmadge Township Assistant Fire Chief Mike Eppink said.
“When I pulled up, there was absolutely nothing left,” he said.
Rodenhouse lives next door at 10565 Eighth Ave., but was not around when it exploded.
A door from the home sailed over a pickup passing on the road, fire officials said. Debris was scattered everywhere at the site, with pieces of roof, wood, brick and wall lying across the property.The blast blew out the windows of a nearby home.
“I was in my house. I wasn’t sure what it was,” said Bob Kelly, who lives two houses north at 10595 Eighth Ave.
“I didn’t know if a truck ran into a building or an atomic bomb went off,” he said.
Kelly looked out his kitchen window and saw flames from the direction of the blasted home.
“The house was just leveled,” he said.
DTE Energy Co. was on site sealing off natural gas lines and checking neighbors’ homes.
The house’s state equalized value, about half its market value, was $48,700, according to Ottawa County records. The house is on a 5.13 acres, registered under Rodenhouse’s Rodenhouse Properties LLC