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Authorities Investigate House Explosion In Rockville

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The house at 11221 Ashley Drive in Rockville was leveled after an explosion in the early morning hours May 4.
Jessica Jordan
The house at 11221 Ashley Drive in Rockville was leveled after an explosion in the early morning hours May 4.

Two residents of the house survived the explosion, and are now in serious but non-life threatening condition, according to fire officials.

Residents of quiet Ashley Street woke with a start around 3 a.m. this morning after hearing what they describe as a "thundering boom."

They ran outside to see what remained of the house at 11221 Ashley Drive on fire. The fire quickly spread to a house next door, but firefighters were able to extinguish the fire before any major damage occurred, neighbors say.

Pieces of what had been the home's roof, windows, and walls ended up in neighbors' yards and on their cars. "I live almost a mile away and I heard the explosion at my house," says George Bonelli. "I've never seen anything like this."

Some neighboring homes sustained damage, including one across the street where a front window was broken by flying debris, according to another neighbor.

All that remains where the house once stood is a large pile of wood, glass and bricks. The house was completely destroyed in the explosion, and its foundation blown to bits. Parts of its roof now hang in trees and on the roofs of neighbor's houses, and its roof shingles litter the street.

Neighbors say the couple living in the home rented it from the owner, and that they had just moved in a few days ago. Another neighbor says the couple had been trying to install a gas stove.


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