House explosion rocks community, blast felt for miles

Image: Home explosion rocks both Italy and Milford — A house explosion at the intersection of Morgan Road and Highway 77, between Italy and Milford, rattled homes in both towns providing an alarming start to everyone’s Sunday morning around 7:05 a.m.

Home explosion rocks both Italy and Milford — A house explosion at the intersection of Morgan Road and Highway 77, between Italy and Milford, rattled homes in both towns providing an alarming start to everyone’s Sunday morning around 7:05 a.m. (Barry Byers)

A house explosion at the intersection of Morgan Road and Highway 77, between Italy and Milford, rattled homes in both towns providing an alarming start to everyone’s Sunday morning around 7:05 a.m.

Fire engines and volunteer firefighters from the Italy, Milford, Forreston and Avalon Fire Departments arrived on the scene in minutes. Local police departments shutdown a section of Highway 77 while emergency personnel raced to the location.

The home was recently sold and the new family moving in had most of their unpacked belongings inside. Fortunately, no occupants were in the home at the time of the explosion.

The devastating blast blew the outside walls from the foundation and scattered debris throughout the yard, within surrounding trees and even a window frame landed atop an adjacent metal shed. Very few items were recognizable as a result of the blast.

Italy’s acting fire chief Donald Chambers commanded the scene as emergency personnel arrived. One firemen was treated on scene after stepping on a nail that pierced his fire boot.

The house used a propane system and a gas explosion is not being ruled out as a possible cause to the morning scare. Utility companies also arrived to turn off electrical power, gas lines, etc.

Surrounding homes were impacted the most and families living in concrete re-enforced Monolithic® dome rental units, directly across from the blast sight, rushed outside to witness the remaining wooden structure burn down.

The fire was under control around 8:30 a.m. and fire crews began the cleanup and investigation process.

“We were getting ready to drive into town when suddenly, “Boom!” I looked out the door, saw the flames and yelled to my wife (Crystal Ashcraft), “Oh, no! There’s a house on fire!” Then we started receiving calls from people checking on us," explained Kenneth Ashcraft who resides less than a mile away from the imploded home.

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