Stolen car crashes into gas meter, causing leak, fire, explosion in KC eastside neighborhood

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police and fire crews responded to a fire and explosion at 20th and Wheeling Tuesday afternoon, which started when the driver of a suspected stolen car crashed into the apartment complex, causing the gas meter to explode.

From FOX 4's Judy Le at the scene of the gas explosion at 20th & Wheeling. Police search the suspected stolen car.

From FOX 4's Judy Le at the scene of the gas explosion at 20th & Wheeling. Police search the suspected stolen car.

Police say they were chasing two cars down the street that they suspected were stolen. One of the drivers tried to go through a grassy area and slammed into the complex.

At 3:18 p.m., the KCMO Fire Dept. sent out a tweet that there was an explosion at an apartment building on Wheeling.

Kansas City, Mo., police say the gas leak made the apartments so unsafe that police officers were actually going door-to-door telling people they shouldn't flip on any light switches because it could set-off further complications.

Missouri Gas Energy says they sent a crew immediately and found the car had struck a multi-meter gas set, which provided service to several apartment buildings.

MGE worked to stop the flow of gas and had it cut off at about 4:40 p.m. Once they stopped the flow, the said they would devise a strategy to rebuild what was damaged.

Police evacuated the building and there were no immediate reports of injuries. All residents escaped the building without harm, but several lost their possessions in the crash and fire.

"I was shocked. I didn't know what was going on," said Beatrice Willingham, a resident. "I'm glad my kids wasn't there. My daughter, my oldest daughter, she gets out of school first. She wasn't there, so, I'm just blessed she wasn't there at the time that it occurred."

Damage at apartment complex at 20th & Wheeling.

Damage at apartment complex at 20th & Wheeling.

Some residents of the apartment building are expected to be placed for the night.

MGE says The Salvation Army was at the scene with a warming bus and the American Red Cross has responded as well.

Others that aren't displaced will be able to run their furnaces, MGE says.

Police arrested four suspects and say one escaped.

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20th and Wheeling; scene of gas leak

20th and Wheeling; scene of gas leak