Neighbors point to homemade fireworks after explosion levels St. Joseph home

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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- People in one St. Joseph neighborhood said the noise sounded like an earthquake. ATF agents are investigating a home that exploded today -- possibly caused by people making their own fireworks.

FOX 4's Sean McDowell went to the scene near Isabelle and Prospect on Tuesday afternoon, where that house was still burning.

A home blew up near Prospect and Isabelle in St. Joseph Tuesday morning.

It blew up out of nowhere and shook every house on this block. Neighbors in that north St. Joseph neighborhood said a big boom rang out around 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

One neighbor told FOX 4 News she heard the explosion followed by a woman's screams.

Homeowners on Isabelle Avenue looked on as neighbors helped firefighters pull two men and a woman from that burning home.

"You can hear it big. You could hear a "boom!" Loud!" said neighbor Carl Parham.

The noise got Carl Parham's attention. He's called this street his home for 54 years, and said he called 911 as soon as the blast was heard.

"I could hear her down there screaming. They were down there screaming, 'there's still people in the house!'" Parham recalled.

Neighbors told FOX 4 News they witnessed the home's residents making their own fireworks.

"You could hear them going off all night," said Shiloh Hoyt.

Shiloh Hoyt lives across the street, which is as close as she's ever wanted to get to that house.

"They put gunpowder in them, I think, to make them louder. You could hear them all the way up the block. When the house exploded, you could hear it all the way up there," Hoyt said.

ATF spokesperson John Ham said it's too soon to say what cause the explosion, but he said accidents involving homemade fireworks are more common than you might think.

"If that is what it is, this will be yet another reminder of why you don't do it. Go to the tent and buy your stuff there. This isn't the way you want to spend your 4th of July," Ham said.

Police say three people went to the hospital as a result of the explosion. Also, local law enforcement officers tell reporters a toddler lives in that house, but was not home at the time of the blast.

Police haven't released the names of the people living in that house, or an update on their medical condition.