Cause of deadly blast at Royal Oak home under investigation - Fox 2 News Headlines

Cause of deadly blast at Royal Oak home under investigation

Posted: Updated:
The spot where a home used to stand on Cooper Ave. in Royal Oak. The spot where a home used to stand on Cooper Ave. in Royal Oak.
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WJBK) -

Officials are investigating the cause of an explosion that leveled a suburban Detroit home, killing a man and damaging other houses in the neighborhood.

Consumers Energy says its crews had been on Cooper Ave. in Royal Oak where Wednesday's blast happened in recent days to replace a natural gas main. It wasn't known whether that was related to the blast. They say they're working with the feds on the investigation because the National Highway Transportation Board is in charge of those pipes.

"There had been Consumers Energy working here all day, for days," said neighbor Garry Denton. "As soon as we opened the door and saw the house destroyed and the fire, we knew was it was because Consumers has been here for two days."

The subsidiary of Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. says it's working with police, fire and state officials on an investigation, which could take months.

"I've never seen anything like this," said Royal Oak Mayor Jim Ellison, who surveyed the scene Thursday morning. "I watched the coverage on TV, but I wasn't prepared for this."

The blast around 5 p.m. was heard several miles away. Burning and smoking wood planks from the home were scattered nearby as firefighters rushed to put out the flames.

At least 35 nearby homes were damaged. Those residents have been evacuated until further notice. Officials are escorting them inside their homes to gather belongings.

Nicholas Sikora who lives near the blast site says he helped his next door neighbor. "We ran over there, helped a bunch of people. We got her in our kitchen, and we were able to make sure, she was fine, amazingly. Here's this older woman and all she had was a little cut on her leg."

Consumers Energy is footing the bill for their hotel stays while the investigation continues.

The identity of the 58-year-old man who died wasn't immediately released by authorities.

- The Associated Press contributed to this story

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • VP Joe Biden speaks in Detroit on Labor Day

    VP Joe Biden speaks in Detroit on Labor Day

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:18:46 GMT
    This is the second time vice president Joe Biden has been in Detroit on Labor Day in the past three years.
    This is the second time vice president Joe Biden has been in Detroit on Labor Day in the past three years.
  • RECALL: Kraft American Singles Cheese Slices

    RECALL: Kraft American Singles Cheese Slices

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:05 AM EDT2014-09-01 12:05:15 GMT
    Kraft voluntarily recalled 7,691 cases of its American Singles cheese product Friday because an ingredient was stored improperly by a supplier.
    Kraft voluntarily recalled 7,691 cases of its American Singles cheese product Friday because an ingredient was stored improperly by a supplier.
  • Minimum wage hike launches this Labor Day

    Minimum wage hike launches this Labor Day

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:30 AM EDT2014-09-01 11:30:54 GMT
    Minimum wage workers across metro Detroit and the rest of the state are getting a small raise this Labor Day.
    Minimum wage workers across metro Detroit and the rest of the state are getting a small raise this Labor Day.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices