Little remained fully intact at the scene of the Des Moines home that exploded last Friday. Witnesses reported that the restoration of this house was nearly completed before it was destroyed. What were south and east walls of this building now appear to be missing as they have been blasted into neighboring properties. The roof of the building now rests on the collapsed deck in the front yard. Witnesses reported that the victim, who was found near where the police tape is in this photo is stretched, had been working on the roof of a carport that had once existed on the right side of the house.

Des Moines police investigate home explosion

By Matt Wendland

Police are investigating an explosion at a Des Moines home that shook an entire neighborhood and left one man in the hospital with severe burns.

The explosion occurred just after 7pm on Friday, July 15, at a house located within the 2000 block of South 232nd Street.

According to neighbors on the scene, the house had long sat empty as the neighborhood eyesore until the last few months ago when a local man had begun fixing it up. “The house was nearly complete.” One neighbor stated while overlooking the remains of the structure the following day. “Now there’s not much left of the house at all.”

While police have yet to release the official cause the fire and explosion, witnesses reported to police seeing the man working on the roof of the house’s carport with a torch just seconds before the building was destroyed. The blast sent glass and pieces of the structure across the yard and into the road and neighboring properties. The east wall from the house was sent nearly intact against the next house over.

“It felt like an earthquake!” A man visiting the scene from his home a few blocks away recounted. “It shook my whole house, just like an earthquake, but only lasted for a few seconds.”

After the explosion, emergency responders found the man who had been working on the house crawling in the street with severe second and third degree burns. He was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he is listed in stable condition. Firefighters report that his injuries do not appear to be life threatening.

The cause of the explosion has yet to be deterred because of the instability of the structure. Over the following week, firefighters will bring in heavy equipment to remove parts of the building before entering in an attempt to determine just what caused such a powerful blast.

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