GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A 77-year-old woman was seriously injured in an explosion that leveled a house south of Kentwood early Monday.
The fire broke out just after midnight at a home on Fairwood Court, which is in a well-to-do neighborhood near the intersection of 76th Street SE and Kalamazoo Avenue SE in Gaines Township.
One neighbor said he was in bed when he not only heard but felt the explosion.
“There was just a huge boom, the point where my head was kind of rocked a little bit,” Shadman Rahman said. “My blinds were closed, but my whole room turned red, and when I opened the blinds you could see just this huge fire.”
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department says two deputies were the first to get to the home. They heard a woman screaming for help and found the woman was trapped on the back deck. They tried to use a garden hose from a neighbor’s house to reach her, but that didn’t work.
Firefighters who arrived shortly thereafter were able to retrieve her.
The sheriff’s office released body camera video showing deputies helping firefighters run a hose toward the deck and start spraying the flames while firefighters worked to get the woman.
She was taken to a hospital, where she was listed in critical condition. Neighbors said she is a widow who lived at the home alone.
The Cutlerville, Dutton and Kentwood fire departments responded to the explosion and subsequent fire.
The house, which had a for sale sign out front and was listed online for $550,000, was destroyed. Drone video only the front entry, part of the front facade and part of the deck still standing amid a spray of wreckage. The blast blew glass into the 16th hole at StoneWater Country Club, which the home backs up to. Part of the siding of a neighboring home was melted and twisted.
The Cutlerville Fire Department, Michigan State Police and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating what caused the fire. DTE Energy was also at the home Monday morning and said it had not found anything wrong with the underground gas lines leading to the home.
Fire investigators said it could take several weeks to determine an exact cause.