Fire crews respond to house explosion on Detroit’s west side

No one was killed in the explosion

DETROIT – Fire crews are responding to a house explosion on Detroit’s west side.

The explosion occurred Monday (Oct. 2) around 3:30 p.m. in the 16000 block of Sussex Street near Greenfield Avenue and Puritan Street.

“I was laying in the bed watching TV when all of a sudden I heard this loud explosion,” said neighbor Roy Monroe. “I said, ‘Lord have mercy,’ and I jumped up and ran downstairs to see if my wife was OK and got outside and seen that the house had blown up across the street.”

The adjacent neighbor said once she heard the explosion that took out half of her home, she jumped out of the window.

Other neighbors said they heard the explosion and thought a bomb had gone off. Children playing in the neighborhood said it sounded like an earthquake.

“The explosion blew my windows out of my storm doors,” said neighbor Subrina Hamilton.

Monroe said other neighbors believed they smelled gas the past couple of days. Residents in the area said they had called DTE, who came out a few days ago and gave the “All clear,” but gas was still being smelled in the neighborhood.

“I contacted the realtor to let her know what was going on, so I hope they can get to the bottom of it,” Monroe said. “It blew out the windows, and debris flew across the street.”

The house was vacant, with no person inside. Officials said there was nothing but a water heater and a furnace.

“We told them,” Hamilton said. “My husband also said if they don’t fix the problem, we are going to find out in a minute where the problem is and clearly we found where the problem is.”

Katrina Gibbs said DTE came out but didn’t properly investigate the source of the smell.

“I am upset beside this whole block could have blown up,” said Gibbs.

Officials said the city of Detroit is providing hotels for four families whose homes were too damaged.

The cause of the explosion

hasn’t been determined, the Detroit Fire Department said. Officials said they are unclear as to what caused the gas leak, but they’re working on it.

“Safety is the top priority for DTE Energy – for our customers, communities and employees. Today, our teams worked with local and federal authorities as they investigated a home explosion in Detroit. The investigation confirmed that all DTE equipment was working as expected – without gas leaks. The investigation also confirmed that the incident was a result of at least one open fuel line on resident-owned equipment inside the home.

We urge all residents, in any situation, if you smell or suspect a gas leak to leave the area at once, call 911, then call DTE at 800.947.5000  (or your natural gas provider), to report the situation.”

DTE Energy

“At DTE Energy, safety is our top priority – for our customers, employees and communities. Our teams have been called out to an incident in Detroit to help make the scene safe while local authorities investigate.”

DTE Senior Communications Strategist Megan Bonelli

About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.

Will Jones rejoined the Local 4 News team in February 2023 as a weekend anchor and reporter. He previously worked as a general assignment reporter for the station from 2012 to 2015.