House Explodes in Stamford, Conn., 2 Other Homes Damaged

By Lori Bordonaro and Ida Siegal
|  Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013  |  Updated 7:38 AM EDT
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A fiery explosion leveled a six-bedroom home in Stamford, Connecticut.  Investigators are sifting through debris to figure out what caused the blast.  Ida Siegal reports.

A fiery explosion leveled a six-bedroom home in Stamford, Connecticut. Investigators are sifting through debris to figure out what caused the blast. Ida Siegal reports.

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A fiery explosion instantly leveled a six-bedroom home in Stamford, Conn. Tuesday, blasting parts of the house high up into nearby trees and shaking buildings miles away. 

The homeowner, who was outside on his Webbs Hill Road property at the time of the explosion, escaped serious injury but was taken to the hospital as a precaution. A firefighter also suffered a minor back injury. 

Stamford Fire Chief John Fontneau called it "a scene out of hell." 

"The house was leveled, there was debris in the trees, glass shards, front door and back door thrown many feet away," said Fontneau. "There was actually a window frame up in the pine tree, the pine tree was snapped. It was a very big explosion." 

A neighbor who gave only his first name, Sam, said "I just felt the ground shake and I felt my whole house sway back and forth.

"The vibration, it was almost like an earthquake," he said.  

The force of the explosion could be felt as far away as North Stamford.

"I was in my house and I heard a boom and everything shook," said Jessica Giello. 

Firefighters from Greenwich and New Canaan assisted Stamford firefighters, whose efforts were complicated by a lack of fire hydrants on the road. Crews pumped water from Hope Pond into tankers and delivering them to responders on the scene, the fire chief said.

It took firefighters hours to put out the blaze on the 4,000-square foot home. A 500-gallon propane tank was located underground, leading authorities to believe it may have been a gas explosion. The tank contained 400 pounds of propane, but it's not clear what ignited it.

Investigators are expected to begin sifting through the debris so they can determine a cause, according to Public Safety Director Ted Jankowski. 

Two nearby homes were also damaged in the explosion, though the extent of the damage was unclear.

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