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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | WEST COUNTY / OXNARD

Fire From Gas Explosion Destroys House

September 29, 1998|TINA DIRMANN

An unoccupied house in Oxnard burst into flames early Monday after it filled with an unknown flammable gas that exploded, authorities said. The home was destroyed but no one was hurt.

Neighbors reported hearing the explosion in the 3100 block of L Street about 1 a.m. Monday. By the time firefighters arrived, the single-story, three-bedroom home was engulfed in flames. The force of the explosion separated walls from the home's foundation and flung glass into the street some 50 yards away, firefighters said.

Twenty Oxnard firefighters doused the home with water, extinguishing the blaze before it could reach neighboring homes.

Fire investigators estimate damage to the home and its contents to be about $185,000. Building and Safety officials condemned the structure--which was undergoing renovation--as unsafe for habitation.

Investigators are trying to determine what type of gas caused the explosion and how it leaked into the home. The possibility of arson has not been ruled out, said Oxnard Fire Investigator Dan Gildea.

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