OH- Fire investigators from Piqua believe that a natural gas leak, ignited by the furnace, caused an explosion last Friday afternoon in the 1000 block of Maple Street that blew one house off its foundation and damaged two other houses.

The home located at 1007 Maple Street was engulfed in flames when Piqua firefighters arrived. According to fire officials, wood siding, window panes and slivers of glass were blown out 50 feet in all directions.

On Saturday, neighbors worked to clean up the debris that littered their yards and sidewalks and cluttered the street, as a steady stream of sightseers drove on Maple St. to view the damage to the home of Larissa Reaves.

According to the official fire report, investigators estimate the losses at $140,000; $100,000 of that to the building and contents of the Reaves’ house, and the remaining $40,000 in damages to the houses on either side.

Mike Rinoler, who is the Piqua Fire Prevention Officer Assistant Fire Chief, said the explosion was extremely powerful. He said that if anyone had been in the house, they would have been killed.

The official Piqua Fire investigation has been closed; however, insurance investigators are still at the scene.