South Amarillo House Explodes

A house painter is being treated for second degree burns following a house explosion in south Amarillo. 

The fire department was able to put out the flames relatively quickly, but the damage left by the explosion is very severe. 

At the home at 6305 Cornell Street windows were blown out, the roof was lifted, and bricks fell off the facade, all after an explosion they say may have been avoided with a little fresh air.

Captain Bob Johnson told Newschannel10's Tina Berasley "If there is not proper ventilation in the house those fumes are combustible and if they'll reach an explosive range and there's a heat source in the house like a pilot light well they can ignite. And this has happened before and this is a severe example of it because this was a really powerful explosion".

Captain Johnson says spray on lacquer being used by a house painter may be the culprit...causing an explosion loud enough to shake the whole neighborhood. 

Mike Mooney owns Cain's Carpet Care, right across the street from the explosion. He said "I was sitting at my desk working, and all of I sudden I heard a boom sounded like a sonic boom or an explosion but the building kinda jarred and I thought somebody might've run into the building. So I ran outside and looked on both sides of the building but I could smell smoke so I looked over and saw a fire."

Neighbor Karl Fliehler added "We're just lucky the wind wasn't blowing too hard or there might be some other neighbors here might be in the same situation they're in. So we're gonna get together and see what we can do to help them out...that's the bottom line here at Christmas time." 

The painter was the only one inside the home at the time of the explosion. The home belongs to a retired Amarillo Fire Department Captain.