Bystanders rush to save those inside St. Joseph house explosion - KCTV5

Bystanders rush to save those inside St. Joseph house explosion

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ST. JOSEPH, MO (KCTV) -

A house exploded in St. Joseph, MO, on Tuesday morning, injuring at least three and scattering debris along the small-town neighborhood.

Neighbors said they heard an explosion around 9:40 a.m., with one witness saying all four walls of the home blew out and the roof collapsed, according to a news report from CBS affiliate News-PressNow.com.

The explosion happened at a home in the 1100 block of Prospect Avenue.

The report states three people were taken by ambulance to Mosaic Life Care Hospital in St. Joseph.

Capt. Jeff Wilson of the St. Joseph Police Department says two men and a woman were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries after neighbors pulled them from the home.

The house walls were blown out and the roof collapsed into the structure.

A video of the scene following the explosion, provided by John P. Tretbar and the www.stjosephpost.com, shows people rushing into the home to save the house's occupants. A man is seen later in the video lying down on the grass near the scene.

“When I came out on the front porch, I seen a wall of smoke hitting me in my face and behind that smoke was fire and I heard people screaming and yelling,” neighbor Carl Parhan said. 

None of those saved from the home are dead, but their conditions beyond that are unknown.

No children were inside the home.

"I just saw the house no longer standing on the ground," said neighbor Paul Saunders in the News-Press Now report. "A whole bunch of flames. People just running around asking if we can get water hoses out."

“We run down there and we see the girl. They got the girl out of there and it was crazy," neighbor Kayleigh Ebling said. "All you could hear was help me help me and her screaming.” 

Saunders said the neighbors hear booms coming from the house year-round.

"I've called the police department many times before because they will shoot them off at like 11 and 12 o' clock at night and it'll wake up my two kids," Saunders said in the report.

Jon Hamm with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms his investigators were not able to get into the house for some time due to smoldering inside the home. He says it could take hours to sift through everything and then days to determine a cause.

“It’s too early to draw a conclusion," Hamm said. "We’ve talked to several witnesses that say for many years they’ve suspected these individuals of making fireworks in their home. And of course, that’s illegal. We talk about it every year this time of year. If that is what this is, this will be another reminder of why you don’t do it.” 

Investigators do not know if there is more explosive material inside the home.

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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