House explosion rattles Santa Fe neighborhood

New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – People in a Santa Fe neighborhood are rattled after a house explosion that could be heard across the city. Neighbors say they saw flames up to 50 feet high.

Debris and insulation from the gated home are now scattered along the road. Officials say the guest house is destroyed, and there is extensive damage to the main house.

The couple that lives there was home at the time, inside the main house. Neighbors are thankful no one was injured.

Destroyed framework and charred insulation are what’s left behind following a massive home explosion late Monday night.

“I heard this loud boom and the house shook, the ground shook, and the roof started shaking, as well as the walls,” neighbor Lachlan Stephenson said.

The home off Cibola Circle burst into flames around 11 p.m. The explosion could be heard more than 10 miles away.

“It was pretty loud and shook up a bunch of things and stuff fell over,” Stephenson said.

Neighbors several doors down say they initially thought a tree fell on their own home.

“The roof actually bent down a little bit when it shook,” Stephenson said.

Others had damage to their homes, like cracked glass on their doors.

“It was pretty strong because we have damage to our front door, sort of knocked out the wood at the bottom of the front door, and we have damage in our kitchen where the screws popped out of the ceiling,” Geraldine Garduno said.

Neighbors suspect it was a propane gas tank explosion. The State Fire Marshal’s Office confirmed the property does have a 1,000-gallon propane tank but says the official cause is still under investigation.

“The New Mexico Liquid Propane Gas Bureau is going to come and assist our agency with the fire investigation,” investigator Jimmy Vigil said.

The retired couple who owns the home returned Tuesday morning to retrieve Christmas gifts but did not want to be interviewed.

“I am really thankful that they are safe and healthy and alive, and that’s the most important part,” Vigil said.

The fire was burning until 2 a.m. Investigators do not suspect any foul play.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office says there was another explosion at a home just 200 yards away related to propane last year, where an unlicensed contractor installed the tank improperly.

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