Investigators determine gas leak caused Westminster house explosion

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- Many folks living on Ingalls St. in Westminster still have trouble believing the nightmare that rocked their neighborhood actually happened.

"It sounded like an airplane crashed or a bomb went off," said Margaret Smith, who lives near the house that exploded.

"It felt like our house actually went up in the air... It jolted to the side," said Theresa Gonzales, who also lives nearby.

Fire investigators determined Friday that the cause of the home explosion was a gas leak.

Many neighbors weren't surprised.

"We were smelling gas before," Gonzales said.

Fire officials said the people who lived in the home weren't home at the time.
FOX31 Denver briefly spoke to them as they picked up a few personal items, but they didn't want to talk on-camera.

In the meantime, those living nearby also have to find a new place to stay because inspectors say their homes are unsafe.

"It really tears us up to see that our neighbors can't come back," Smith said.

Smith said she didn't want to see her neighbors suffer anymore, so she and her daughters decided to help.

Using dollies from their home, they went into action to help their neighbors move their food from their home.

"They would put the freezer and fridge stuff in the boxes and then we would put it on our dolly," said Sarah Olson, who lives in the neighborhood.

"Myself and my other neighbor offered our freezer space and refrigerator space for their food," said Smith.

Helping out in any way possible is why Margaret says she loves living where she does and now she hopes her neighbors can rebuild.

"People look out for each other around here and when somebody needs help. We are there to help," Smith said.

According to Westminster Fire officials there were four pets inside the home that exploded.

One of the dogs, a yellow Labrador had to be put down because it was suffering from a broken back. Fire officials say all the other animals are expected to be OK.

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