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Explosion Damages Homes In Westminster, Possible Gas Leak

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

WESTMINSTER, Colo (CBS4) – A suspected gas explosion in Westminster has caused extensive damage to two homes and damaged seven or eight others. Three people initially unaccounted for were located unharmed.

Video from Copter4 shot at 12:30 p.m. showed a massive pile of rubble, with debris spread over several other nearby homes and garages.

“I didn’t know what the hell to think. I was so scared,” said one neighbor.

The North area tech rescue crew continued to search the remains of the home. Three people who were unaccounted for were located safe. They were not home at the time.

“I heard this sound, first it shook then it went boom, ‘Oh my gosh, what’s happening, what’s happening?’” said neighbor Arlene Gallegos.

Her late husband’s crucifix fell to the floor. She grabbed it and evacuated from her home.

Westminster Fire Department spokeswoman Diana Wilson said the first emergency call came in at 11:35 a.m. from the 9300 block of Ingalls Avenue. Police briefly evacuated an area from 92nd Place to 96th Avenue and from Westminster Boulevard to Pierce.

Once it was determined that there was no further risk the evacuation area was reduced to only the homes in the immediate area.

“I felt it at my job which is a mile and a half down the road,” said Sharon Giron.

PHOTO GALLERY: Explosion In Westminster

Wilson said two people who smelled gas inside their home escaped with minor injuries, and police are talking to neighbors to see if anyone else might have been home and may be trapped.

“It was a huge, huge explosion. I can’t describe it, it was so loud,” said Nancy Passerella, who was shopping at the nearby Costco.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

She told CBS4 the blast shook the building.

Xcel Energy has shut off gas service in the area. The suspected cause of the explosion is a gas leak. Police in Westminster are working with Xcel Energy crews on the investigation.

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