Scioto Township, OH – An Orient man is thankful to be alive after an explosion destroyed his home Thursday afternoon.

Michael Terry, 64, said he was working in the barn next to his home at 10169 Welch Rd. when the explosion happened.

“I heard a ‘whoosh’ sound and debris smashed into the side of the barn,” Terry said. “I thought the barn was caving in. I went outside and the house was gone.”

According to Chip Welch, Scioto Township Fire Chief, a 911 call was placed at 3:46 p.m. regarding a structure fire. A few minutes later, the report was amended to an explosion. No fire took place at the location. By the time firefighters arrived on scene, only wreckage remained.

“We have no reason to suspect suspicious activity,” Welch said.

Scioto Township and Jackson Township Fire Departments are leading the investigation into what caused the explosion. Two state fire marshals were also called on the scene. No cause is known as of press time.

Terry said he had gone to the adjoining barn to work on his car’s bike rack, which had wobbled on the way back from an overnight trip to Wheeling, W.Va. The house was powered by propane. AmeriGas had filled the tank two days beforehand. Terry turned down the thermostat prior to his trip.

“I turned it back up (when I came back) because it was getting chilly in the house,” he said. “I didn’t smell anything. I guess I didn’t take the time to notice.”

After the incident, the homeowner’s heart rate elevated; medics from Scioto Township Fire Department administered oxygen for about 20 minutes before Terry’s heart rate lowered back to normal.

“I thought I was having a heart attack,” he said.

Jill Thompson of 10169 Welch Road said she witnessed the explosion from her living room.

“I was on the phone looking out my living room window,” she said. “Then I heard a ‘boom’ and saw debris and smoke.”

Despite the ordeal, Terry said he considers himself lucky. He declined Red Cross’s offer of money for food and lodging, citing that others had greater needs than his.

“I don’t have food or clothes but I have my family. I thank God I am alive,” he said. “It may look like worst day of my life but really I feel blessed.”