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Woman survives Birmingham house explosion

Survivor sustained minor injuries

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. – Fire crews say a woman is lucky to be alive after her Birmingham home exploded just after 9 a.m. Monday.

The homeowner had been away for several weeks taking care of her father. She had gone home to plug in a timer light to ward off any would-be burglars while she was away and to get her two cats. The woman declined to speak with Local 4 News on record.

UPDATE: Birmingham fire chief: Appliance gas leak caused house explosion

According to the woman, when she flipped on a light she felt a rush of air and realized there had been an explosion. Holding her breath, she climbed out the window nearly without injury. Next to her house she saw a pile of brick, drywall and facade. The house managed to stay standing.

READ MORE: Crews respond to house explosion in Birmingham

“She did sustain some minor injuries but she’s fine. Thankfully, she’s not in the hospital. It’s just a miracle she’s doing wonderful,” said Birmingham Fire Department Chief Paul Wells.

Fire officials told the homeowner they think it was a gas leak and that she must have been standing in exact center of the explosion, sparing her of the outward force of much of it. Had she been elsewhere in the home when the explosion happened, the woman says she might not have survived.

Her neighbors said the explosion sounded more like a car backfiring. Dawn Abney, a neighbor ran across the street to see what had happened.

“I saw it,” said Abney. “I saw bricks fly. And I called 911 and said my neighbor’s house just exploded. What’s the address? I don’t know, it’s not on the house anymore.”

Abney said she saw her neighbor crawl out of her window

“All I screamed was, I’m on the phone with 911. Are you ok? Then she went back into the house to get a cat carrier,” said Abney.

The cats and the homeowner survived the explosion hiding in the garage behind the house. Neither of the neighboring houses or the cars in the driveways were hit by debris. Consumers Energy said Monday morning its crews did not find any leaks outside of the home.