South KC neighbors report strong gas smell then feel explosion

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Firefighters and emergency crews responded to a house explosion on Wednesday night in the area of 113th and Ruskin. The Kansas City Fire Department said the home is located in the 7700 block of East 113th Street.

One person in a neighboring home suffered minor injuries from cuts and burns, and three houses were damaged, one a complete loss according to FOX 4's Eric Burke who was at the scene. No one was in the home that exploded at the time of the blast.

"All of the sudden this extreme loud blast I've never heard anything like that before I knew it couldn't be any kind of fireworks because this long of the fourth you can tell...it shook the ground and the house and I'm still about 2 blocks away," said Troy Reed, one neighbor.

The homes on both sides of the house were vacant.

Witnesses as far as half-a-mile away reported feeling the explosion and the house feared to be completely lost only has part of its center still standing. The fire department says that witnesses have told them there was an odor of natural gas in the air, and Missouri Gas Energy was at the scene investigating Wednesday night.

One witness who lived a few houses down from the main impact told FOX 4 that he was mowing his lawn at about 1:30 Wednesday afternoon and smelled gas. He called MGE, and a crew came out to investigate, but left after checking the witnesses' home and homes on either side. He then came home later Wednesday night, still smelled gas, and said he called MGE twice and was on the phone when the explosion happened.

Police, firefighters and members of the bomb and arson squad are also investigating, it was too early Wednesday night to determine the official cause of the explosion. We'll continue to follow this story and report more developments as details are confirmed in the coming days.

"That's a bit scary man because, you know, it could happen in our house and we could be in it," Reed said. "It's pretty scary to know only a couple blocks away a house exploded that bad."