BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Baltimore County fire officials say there are no obvious signs of arson in Tuesday’s home explosion in Baltimore County.
Baltimore County Fire crews responded to an explosion that demolished a home in Lochearn, just one day after a similar house explosion in the Baltimore Highlands.
A Lochearn neighborhood is left trying to put together the pieces after the blast rocked the entire area.
This is much bigger than Monday’s explosion in the Baltimore Highlands.
The explosion happened mid-afternoon, and no injuries were reported, but officials say if it happened at night, it would’ve been a much different story
Nearby residents want answers as to what caused it.
As sounds of cleanup echo through the streets, not a single piece of a Lochearn home is left standing after an explosion leveled the entire property, spewing debris blocks away.
“It was a sound like you never heard before,” said Bertha Boyd. “The entire ground shook like an earthquake. I saw debris flying in the air and the home just disintegrated.”
The blast rattled the neighborhood at 2 p.m. Tuesday, leaving damage that mirrors a tornado in some parts. It left at least two other homes uninhabitable, and displaced more than a dozen people.
At least nine other homes in a two block radius had some form of damage. Most of the homeowners say they aren’t sure when they’ll be allowed back in their homes.
“It came in through the back door and blew this door open, that’s what happened,” homeowner Francis Berchie said. “We are very happy nobody was in the house. That’s the most important thing. Because it happened right when we were about to come to the house. We were 5 minutes away from the house.”
“They said any day it can give way. So they pretty much, they can’t stay there. They have to go,” said Lashawna Irby, the homeowner’s daughter-in-law.
Many are left trying to get back on their feet.
“There are a lot of homes out here with structural damage,” said Chris Posko, emergency response coordinator for Jenkins Restorations. “We’re out here to put our arm around these people, let them know it’s going to be okay, and that all they have to do is contact their insurance and everything will work itself out.”
Tuesday’s explosion came just hours after another explosion on Monday in Baltimore Highlands.
That’s where Steven Richards survived a blast inside his home, and he only shared his story with WJZ.
“I’ve lost everything. I was walking down the basement to check around, and got to the second to last step, and I was blown back up the steps,” he said.
Two devastating scenes back to back that have residents demanding answers.
“We want answers,” Boyd said. “We want to know what’s going on out here so we can make our neighborhood safe.”
Authorities are already ruling out some possibilities.
“Preliminary investigations have shown there are no signs of arson,” said Elise Armacost, with the Baltimore County Fire Department.
Investigations are still in the early stages.
The fact that no one was seriously injured in either blast is a miracle.
“The fact that we didn’t have any injuries or fatalities, is good luck. We’re extremely fortunate,” Armacost said.
WJZ reached out to BGE, and here’s what they had to say: “For safety reasons, gas and/or electric service was turned off to nine properties, including three that were condemned by the county.”
Service will be restored to the six properties that were not condemned once it is safe to do so, and BGE has coordinated restoration with the affected customers.
BGE continues to monitor the area out of an abundance of caution.
Fire crews say that about 10 adults and 3 children were displaced as a result of the Lochearn explosion. The Red Cross has responded to assist those with temporary housing.