At Least 8 Homes Damaged in Explosion

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ELYRIA, OH — Residents are shocked that two houses are now gone and amazed that no one was killed after an explosion rocked an Elyria neighborhood Friday night.

Only piles of rubble remain of the two-story brick colonial house at 118 Columbia Avenue in Elyria.

Michael and Diane Page live right next door.

“It was the loudest explosion I have ever heard. I thought a plane crashed. My son thought a nuclear explosion,” Michael Page said.

The Pages said the house had been up for sale, but was vacant and no one was inside Friday night. But, they were home when debris from the blast shot into their house.

“We got thrown in the air and disoriented and just try to find our way out of the house.  Still wasn’t sure what exactly happened,” Page said.

His son Andrew actually got hit by flying debris.

“All the bricks from the other house, the glass shards — something hit my chin. I don’t know what that was,” he said.

A woman and her son live in the house on the other side. It sustained a lot of damage and was determined to be structurally unstable and was torn down Saturday.

The Pages fear the same will happen to their house.

“They said it’s been moved off its foundation. There is so much damage inside. I don’t really know if it can be saved,” Michael Page said.

The entire side of the house had to be boarded up.

Fire investigators said the cause of the explosion has yet to be determined.

Bill Ackman, who lives one street away, suspects a natural gas leak.

“We smelled gas yesterday and the gas company had been here during the day. So, it must have been a gas explosion,” Ackman said.

Elyria Fire Captain Joseph Pronesti said as many as eight houses have been damaged in the explosion. And, with the two houses that have been leveled, the damage estimate will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But, no one was injured.

“It is a miracle that we are still alive. I truly believe that,” Diane Page said.

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