No gas issues found and no threat to other homes after deadly Tomball explosion

Charly Edsitty Image
Thursday, December 10, 2020
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From SkyEye, watch daylight footage of a Tomball home left in ruins after an overnight explosion that killed at least one person.

TOMBALL, Texas (KTRK) -- Police say a home explosion that killed a man and rocked a Tomball neighborhood overnight may have been intentionally set, and investigators are looking into whether suicide was involved.

The Tomball Fire Department responded to reports of a fire around 11 p.m. Wednesday on Vernon near Arnold.

It was initially believed the incident was a gas explosion, but Tomball police later said Thursday morning that public works utility crews conducted an inspection and determined there are no issues with the natural gas system. There is no danger to the public.

Video from the scene showed just how powerful the explosion was, completely blowing the roof and walls off of the home, leaving it unrecognizable.

Neighbors say they felt the explosion as far as two miles away.

"Like, literally, our feet shook from underneath us," recalled Michele Bancroft, who lives two miles away. "We're like, 'What is going on?'"

"At first it sounded like a bunch of stuff on the ground floor was just shaking, but it was the whole building I was in," Cody Smith, who lives one mile away from the explosion, said. "Then I went around and talked to everyone and they said the same thing, so I got curious and came outside."

Firefighters say they actually heard and felt the explosion at the station.

Firefighters were able to get the fire out quickly.

WATCH: ABC13's original report from the scene on Thursday morning

Authorities say there was one person inside the home who died due to the explosion. Police say his body was discovered in the rubble.

The explosion happened in the middle of a neighborhood, yet incredibly, no other homes were damaged.

"It's extremely puzzling, quite frankly, with a detonation of that size. We did not have collateral damage in any other parts," Tomball Fire Chief Randy Parr said. "We're trying to ascertain really how the explosion occurred, and the way that the walls came out and the way the roof came up. So we think a lot of the energy was generated upwards."

The man has not been identified.

The investigation is ongoing.

If you are in crisis or know someone in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1:800-273-8255 or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

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