23ºF

7 SW Detroit homes destroyed in explosion, fire

Explosion prompts flames on Oakdale Street; Scrapper may be to blame

Seven homes were destroyed in an explosion and fire that happened Friday afternoon on Oakdale Street near Vernor Highway in southwest Detroit.

Detroit firefighters battled the flames in an effort to keep them from spreading down the street. They were able to contain it to about seven homes. Firefighters believe the initial explosion was caused by a natural gas leak. They said there was scrapping going on inside the house.

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Witnesses said a man who was on fire was seen running from the house after the explosion. Police have arrested that man not far from the fire.

No other injuries were reported. People living in the occupied homes were able to get out before the fire consumed the houses.

Neighbors said it started with a boom. Windows on some homes were blown out by the blast.

"I was in my house. I heard a big boom. I stepped out on my porch and I saw this," said Daniel Crawford.

Harold Long said it shook everything on the block.

"It was a big boom and it shook the whole block. It almost felt like an earthquake," he said. "It blew out windows on the house."