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Mysterious house explosion rattles Washington, DC suburb

Mysterious house explosion rattles Washington, DC suburb
A house explosion that shook the Washington, DC suburb of Rockville, Maryland could be felt miles away. Authorities are still looking for the man who lived at the house, which was supposed to be auctioned off.

The first reports of an explosion came about 12:38 am on Friday, and calls were received from suburbs several miles away, Montgomery County fire officials said. It took 75 firefighters about 20 minutes to subdue the blaze that followed the explosion.

Pete Piringer, spokesman for Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service, described the damage to the house as “catastrophic.”

“It’s just a pile of debris; it’s just a pile of bricks. There’s not anything left of the house,” he told reporters. “There is collateral damage to several nearby homes.”

Rescue crews accompanied by search dogs were still looking for the home’s sole occupant as of Friday morning, Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said. Utility crews that showed up to turn off power and gas to the destroyed home said there was no indication the explosion was caused by a gas leak.

“There is no concern about a gas involvement in this explosion," Goldstein said.

The home was due to be auctioned off on Friday afternoon, real estate company RealtyTrac told WRC-TV.