Explosion Rocks West Hills Neighborhood - NBC Southern California

Explosion Rocks West Hills Neighborhood

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A powerful explosion that rocked a West Hills neighborhood is being investigated with authorities suspecting the cause may have been due to natural gas. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. (Published Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017)

    An explosion destroyed a garage in West Hills on Wednesday, damaging several homes but injuring no one. Police said illegal drug production or other illicit activity was not involved in the incident and the cause of the explosion is yet to be determined.

    Images from the scene showed splintered lumber, roof shingles and other debris scattered in the rear of a single-family home in the 7500 block of Sale Avenue, near Saticoy Street.

    Wreckage was also scattered in the yard and on the roof of an adjacent home and a piece was even lodged high in a nearby tree.

    "A loud explosion picked me up off my feet," Jonathan Chance, a resident who lives two blocks away from the site of the explosion, said. "I turned around and my wife was knocked against the car as she was getting in."

    Six homes sustained damage and three are still red-tagged, meaning they are deemed unsafe to enter, according to police.

    The blast was reported just after 3 p.m., according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

    Firefighters were seen evaluating two children from a nearby daycare at the scene, but Stewart said no one was injured and no one was taken to a hospital.

    "By the grace of God, this is probably one of the biggest explosions as residences go," one LAPD officer said. "No one was hurt, no one was injured."

    Crews worked to make certain all utilities were shut off and the Southern California Gas Co., which responded to the scene, reported there were no gas appliances in the garage.

    Police investigated if illegal drug production was involved, but ultimately ruled out that possibility.

    Gas company spokeswoman Melissa Bailey said the utility was "assisting local authorities as the investigation continues."

    NBC4's Rudy Chinchilla contributed to this report.

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