Home damaged after explosion near downtown Mason City

Neighbors reported hearing a loud noise prior to seeing the damage to the residence.

Posted: Jul 18, 2019 8:52 AM
Updated: Jul 18, 2019 10:44 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa - It was a fairly quiet morning on Thursday in a neighborhood near Downtown.

For teacher Kelly Penn, the day started like any other.

"It was a quiet morning just having a lazy day and my husband was getting ready for work."

Then that leisurely routine was interrupted by a deafening blast as a neighbor's home exploded.

"It sounded like a thunder clap. It was...the curtains were closed and it was a big boom, the house shook. It was just startling."

The blast happened around the corner from Penn, in the 100 block of 5th Street NW, around 8:30 a.m.

Around the corner, Ruth Kahler was walking to the post office when she heard the boom.

"I called 911 and said, 'somebody better get out here, because I don't know what's going on. The windows just blew out at the house across the street.' I gave them my address because I wasn't familiar with that one, and they got somebody out here really fast."

She describes what she saw and heard.

"Just black smoke on the curtains, the curtains turned black and the windows were on the ground. One giant bang and the windows were in a pile. That was it."

The back part of the house suffered extensive damage with windows and a side of the home being blown open.

Penn is thankful the damage extended no further than the property.

"It was just a devastation for that residence, but it didn't affect any person as far as loss of life. That's thankful."

The house is currently unoccupied, and there was no report of any injuries.

The cause is still under investigation, and the state fire marshal is assisting.

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