A home was blown off its foundation Tuesday afternoon, leaving it as unstable as a house of cards, authorities said.
The home, at 507 S. Ponderosa, exploded from the inside out after a leaking propane line collected enough fuel, found an ignition source and exploded, said Payson Fire Chief Marty deMasi.
“The force was enough to destroy the building,” deMasi said.
What caused the home to jump nearly a foot off the foundation is still unknown, but fire officials are investigating if the leaking line was inside the home or in the street.
deMasi said several people reported hearing the explosion around 1:50 p.m., including a firefighter who lived nearby.
“He thought something had fallen on his porch and when he went outside, nothing was there, but not soon after, his pager went off,” deMasi said. More than 20 firefighters responded to the scene.
Janet Young, 48, said she had rented the home for eight years and was at work at StatClinix Urgent Care, at the time of the explosion.
“One of the front office ladies who works at the fire department called me and said, ‘Your house just blew up,’ so I rushed over there and they thought I was in the home and were looking for me, so when I showed up they stopped looking,” Young said.
Young was told she could not enter the home to retrieve any personal belongings because the home is unstable and could collapse at any time.
deMasi said some items may be salvable because the roof is protecting the items from the elements.
“They will have to tear it apart bit by bit and get some of the stuff out,” deMasi said. Many of the items could be destroyed when the home is torn down.
Young said the owners of the home are putting her up in hotel until she can move into a new rental.
StatClinix Urgent Care office manager Nathalie Stroup said the facility is accepting donations for Young at 101 E. Highway 260 Suite G, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“She lost everything, and it’s so close to Christmas,” Stroup said. “We are accepting any and all donations.”
deMasi said he can remember several home explosions throughout the years from leaking propane.
“Sometimes they explode into flames and other times it does not,” deMasi said.