Fayetteville, N.C. — Local, state and federal investigators are trying to determine what caused an explosion early Wednesday that destroyed a nearly 70-year-old wooden house southwest of Fayetteville.
Emergency crews responded to the 3300 block of Cumberland Road around 1:30 a.m. after a Cumberland County sheriff's deputy patrolling the area reported the explosion.
Sheriff's Capt. Charles McLaurin said the cause of the blast has not been determined, but workers at the scene said they are looking at the possibility that a gas leak was to blame.
"The house was actually for sale and vacant at the time, so we're puzzled as to what would cause this explosion," Cumberland County sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Tanna said.
Tanna said the deputy who witnessed the explosion caught it on the dashboard camera in his patrol car.
"He was so close that some of the debris was embedded in his car," she said.
The video has not been released and will be a part of the investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Tanna said.
No one was hurt in the blast, which was heard as far as 2 miles away and hurled debris high into trees and across Cumberland Road. It also shattered windows and rocked foundations of more than a dozen neighboring homes. One house had its porch blown off.
Connie Blackmon, who lives near the home, said she heard a loud boom at the time of the explosion.
"The pictures were off the wall, the books fell off the shelves, the light fixture busted," Blackmon said. "It'll wake you up."
The explosion also caused traffic issues on Cumberland Road for most of the morning, but the road had reopened by early afternoon.