Denver, CO -Jim Kirksey , Denver Post Staff Writer

A woman escaped injury in southeast Denver late Monday afternoonwhen the home next to hers in a three-unit complex blew up in anatural gas explosion, authorities said.

Gloria Rivera said she heard ‘a big boom, the cat screamed and allI could smell was smoke and gas.’ She managed to get outunscathed, but an hour later, she hadn’t found her cat.

The Denver Fire Department was called to the explosion in thesingle-story frame building at East Mexico Avenue and South CookStreet shortly before 6 p.m.

Nobody was home in the unit that exploded or in the third unit,said Lt. Ron Weber of the Denver Fire Department.

‘There were no injuries, which is fortunate,’ Weber said.

Fire investigators determined that natural gas caused the blast,but the source of the leak hadn’t been found late Monday, Webersaid. There was no fire after the blast, he said.

The explosion blew out the side walls of the unit at 3410 E. MexicoAve., and the roof collapsed. Broken glass and small bits ofinsulation covered the street outside the apartment.

Rivera said the ceiling in her laundry room and kitchen fell in.She said there was ‘a lot of damage’ in her apartment.

Weber said the gas and electricity were shut off to the wholecomplex, and five adults were displaced. The Red Cross was on thescene to aid those displaced.