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Gas Explosion Levels House, Sets Neighboring Home Ablaze

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A Riverside neighborhood was rocked early Friday morning by a natural gas explosion that completely destroyed a home under renovation and set a neighboring house on fire.

The explosion happened at around 4:20 a.m., according to Riverside Fire Department Capt. Bruce Vanderhorst, who told L.A. Now the initial report came from a neighbor who said "I think the house blew up next door."

Indeed, it had. The home on the 4100 block of Ivanpaugh Place was being renovated, and no one was in it at the time of the explosion. Riverside police Lt. Larry Gonzalez confirms no one was injured, according to City News Service.

Area residents describe hearing and feeling the explosion. "I thought it was an earthquake. My son said it sounded like a car hitting our house," one neighbor told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. Other descriptions of the explosion included that it sounded like a "truck dropped from a helicopter," according to NBC Los Angeles.

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Next door, Wayne and Darlene Keller's home was struck by pieces of the smoldering home, and their house caught fire. The Kellers and their dogs made it out safely, but they say their home is uninhabitable, with flames spreading to the attic, and the explosion ripping the door off their garage. Debris also smashed the windshield of the Kellers' car.

Vanderhoorst says he believes gas had built up in the lines, leading to the explosion.

Some footage of the aftermath and fire: