Investigators Still Working To Determine Cause Of Leonard House Explosion
LEONARD, Oklahoma - The Bixby Fire Chief says investigators are looking into several factors that could've triggered the explosion that destroyed a home in Leonard.
Surveillance video from a nearby house in Leonard caught the moments a house next door exploded. The video shows a white flash before debris began falling through the air.
A pile of wood, children's toys, and furniture are all that’s left of that home. Investigators are going through the ash piece by piece looking for what caused this home to explode.
"We feel like when it exploded, the roof came up, the sides came out, the roof came back down," said Bixby Fire Chief Bryan Wood.
Investigators said the homeowner left the house about an hour before the blast after installing a propane heater so that could have been a factor in the explosion.
“When the weather changes, we need to make sure we have a professional come in and check our heating units," said Chief Bryan Wood.
Professionals at Airco say installing natural or propane heaters is a tricky job that requires very little room for error.
"You'd be hooking up gas or propane to the heater which is extremely flammable. Not only that but when it's hooked up you've gotta make sure it doesn't leak because it will dissipate, and it can build up in the home," said Austin Boyce.
The city of Bixby said someone who lives within city limits and wants to make changes to their heat or air has to get a permit but in the county, those rules don't apply.
"It has to be hooked up to natural gas or propane. It has to be set at the right pressure. It has to be vented correctly. There is a lot more to it than just plugging it in," said Boyce.
The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.