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Explosion levels house in Newark, displaces 16

July 25, 2011 9:20:06 AM PDT
An explosion touched off a chaotic scene in Newark early Monday morning, leveling a home and setting fire to two others.

Arson investigators were on the scene at 741 South 15th Street. The home that exploded was unoccupied at the time, but 16 residents who lived in the two neighboring homes were displaced and are being helped by the Red Cross.

The blast happened around 3:20 a.m., sending a huge fireball into the night sky.

The fire spread quickly spread to the adjacent homes, sending those inside fleeing for their safety.

"It was a big boom like an airplane crash," one resident said. "I was on the porch playing a game, I just hear an explosion, boom, and I was like wow, where did that come from?"

"I was coming from the store and it was just like a big boom, and I seen a big cloud of smoke," another said. "I don't know if it was gas or whatever."

No serious injuries were reported, but one firefighter was treated at the scene.

Authorities believe a gas leak sparked the blast.

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