An Auburn home was completely destroyed Tuesday afternoon in an apparent explosion.
An adult female, an infant and four children were inside the home at the time of the blast. All six escaped the residence at 227 Wages Road unharmed.
The adult female and her infant son were assisted by an off-duty Barrow County Sheriff’s Deputy. According to eyewitness reports, Deputy Brian Green attempted to gain access to the residence through the front door but was unsuccessful due to the smoke and flames. He then went to the side of the residence and was able to help the infant and woman through a hole where the floor had buckled from the blast.
Barrow County Fire and EMS Chief Robert Post said the initial investigation indicates that a propane leak may have caused a buildup of gas in the basement of the two-story home.
According to Post, the basement of the structure consisted of three poured concrete walls and one frame wall. When the gas ignited, the frame wall of the basement was blown outward. The residents were able to exit shortly before the entire home collapsed.
Lt. Scott Dakin, public information officer for Barrow County Fire and EMS, said the house was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived.
“Upon arrival crews found signs of an obvious explosion and the remaining structure completely involved in fire,” Dakin said. “Crews went into a defensive mode to extinguish the remaining fire.”
Smoke from the fire could be seen as far away as Lawrenceville and Winder.
Firefighters remained on the scene for several hours to completely extinguish the fire and begin the investigation into the cause of the explosion. Fire investigators were called to the scene and will be working with representatives from the propane gas company to determine the exact cause of the fire.
Department Chaplin Mike Peavey responded at the request of the department to offer assistance to the family through the "Children after the Fire" program. American Red Cross volunteers also responded to the scene to offer assistance to the family.
This was very terrible.
I am one of the kids that got out of the house.
And i am not lying.
I really miss our house, its really sad because now we live in a small trailer close to the house.
Im am really hoping and praying that we get the settlement over with soon.
That was the scariest day of my life.
I was asleep right when it happened and i woke up to a really loud boom.
I ran out of the front window with my blanket and stuffed animal that i have had since i was two years old.
I was so scared.
I am very thankful that all of my family and my sisters friend got out safe and unharmed.
Our two dogs and three cats also got out.
This was truly a miracle.