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House completely leveled, neighbors injured in Lowell explosion

State Police are still working to determine cause
Posted at 4:28 PM, Dec 17, 2019

An explosion that shook the northern corner of Kent County early Monday morning left one home completely demolished and two people inside a neighboring house injured.

Units from the Lowell Fire Department first responded to the house in the 2900 block of Fallasburg Park Drive NE, north of Lowell city limits, around 3 a.m. Monday morning.

Chief Ron VanOverbeek tells FOX 17 that no one was inside the house at the time of the explosion. It was his understanding that the building was in the process of being renovated.

"We arrived on scene to find the house completely leveled and a small fire out back where it appeared a garage would have been. From that point we did our checking around, make sure nobody was hurt," VanOverbeek said Monday afternoon.

While the site of the explosion was vacant, there were two people inside the neighboring home who sustained minor injuries in the blast. They were checked out on scene by paramedics with Rockford Ambulance.

"I’ve been doing this almost 31 years and we’ve never had anything that I can remember of this magnitude with an explosion, so it was quite shocking," said VanOverbeek.

Michigan State Police have been called in to investigate the explosion and determine a cause.

The sound of Monday morning's explosion was heard for miles. Karlye Russ, who lives about seven miles from the property, caught a massive flash in the sky on one of her home's surveillance cameras.

”We woke up not knowing exactly what it was and our 8-month old-puppy was totally freaked out on the bed, scared, shaking... We saw the video, we were just totally in shock. I mean it was just crazy, the light in the video," she told FOX 17 Monday afternoon.

Closer to the property on Fallasburg Park Drive NE was Bruce Doll, who's home sits just half a mile away. Doll was shaken out of a deep sleep by the sound of the explosion. He too caught part of the massive explosion on one of his surveillance cameras.

“It was brighter than daytime I think ... the dogs went nuts, the goats went nuts," Doll said.

VanOverbeek says the house next door to the explosion will likely have to be demolished.

He told FOX 17 Monday, “It's not livable. So all the utilities have been cut to it. It's not structurally sound. They're not going to be able to get anyone back in there. They’ll probably have to doze that one over and start from scratch on that as well.”