Grand Rapids, MI – Shandra Dominguezs three young children and their grandparents were just sitting down to dinner in their home on 32nd Street SE when they heard the explosion.
They all said it looked like lightning, Dominguez said.
She had been running errands at the store when the fourplex apartment house next door, off of Westminster Drive, exploded. When she arrived home, the fire and police crews hadnt yet arrived on the scene.
Her kids were standing on the porch, but she ushered them inside because she didnt know what caused the explosion.
The blast, which injured four people, is assumed to have been caused by a gas leak or buildup, said Kentwood Fire Department Captain Dale Boersma. But the Kentwood Fire Department is still working to determine the exact cause. DTE Energy, which supplied the gas line to the building, also will be looking into the explosion.
Emergency crews were called out to the scene after the blast shook the neighborhood around 8 p.m., said Rob Attmore, who lives in the house with Dominguez.
Before firefighters arrived, Attmore said, other neighbors ran into what remained of the building and pulled out all four occupants.
Dominguez and her family stood outside of their home Sunday morning and began cleaning the mess on their side of the yellow police tape. The fire department had shut off the gas and had been checking in periodically, and when smoke started wafting out of the wreckage, crews were called back in.
The scene resembled the destruction from a tornado shingles hung from the part of the building still standing, shards of glass from broken windows littered the ground. A piece of lumber was lodged into the side of Dominguezs garage, and the siding from a door had been shot through a window of the house.
Dominguez said she was relieved that no one was hurt but, at the same time, she has a lot to clean up.
Howre you gonna react? she said.
The Red Cross is helping the buildings residents with anything they may need, including shelter, food and medication, said spokeswoman Caroline Clunk.
There were normally a lot of children in the building, Dominguez said, but she thought the family was gone at the time of the explosion. The blasts victims were a couple, an older woman and a little boy, she said.