Possible gas leak suspected in explosion that destroyed house in Detroit

Authorities were investigating whether the house was empty before the blast.

Fire officials in Detroit are investigating whether a gas leak caused a horrific explosion that wiped a house off the map and rocked a neighborhood.

"We have a dwelling collapse. It appears to be a natural gas explosion," a first responder could be heard saying on Broadcastify on Tuesday.

The report of a house explosion came in at 1:26 p.m., according to Deputy Fire Commissioner Dave Fornell. He said that while the blast appeared to be caused by a gas leak, an investigation was underway.

The devastating blast leveled the house on Haverhill Street on the city's east side and also left the homes on both sides of it damaged.

Savannah Thomas, a resident who lives directly across the street from the house, said she was on her way outside to speak to a sibling when the explosion occurred.

"[As] soon as I stepped out the door, the house just — I don't even know how to explain it — it was like 'Boom' and then the house just, say, 'Shwoop!' and all everything just went inside," Thomas told ABC News affiliate WXYZ-TV in Detroit. "And the flames just start[ed] flying up in the air. ... [The blast] was loud enough to shake the whole block."

A woman and her dog were inside one of the neighboring homes, authorities said, adding that she was OK even if a little shaken up.

DTE Energy and arson investigators were on the scene of the explosion but Fornell said authorities did not think the incident was suspicious at this time.

Video taken at the scene showed emergency crews searching the rubble for survivors as firefighters poured water on the still-smoldering pile of debris. Fornell said DTE did not have a report of a gas leak at the house and no one had reported a gas leak in the area.

Thomas said that she did not believe anyone was in the house and that while people had been living there a couple of days ago, they had moved. Fire officials, however, said they were still determining whether the house was empty.

One firefighter injured his knee and was getting checked up at a nearby hospital, according to WXYZ-TV.