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Neighbors heard 2 booms before Matoaca house burst into flames

Posted at 4:47 PM, Apr 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-10 16:47:17-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Firefighters are investigating after a longtime resident's house burst into flames in Matoaca Sunday afternoon.

Fire units responded to a home in the 2100 block of Hill Street after getting a call from a neighbor about explosions around 3:30 p.m.

Video captured by multiple viewers after the initial explosion shows intense bright orange flames shooting from the home.

That first blast was so intense neighbors said it rumbled their floors and shook their cars.

Witnesses said the smoke from the explosion could be seen two or three blocks away.

Additionally, one witness said the smoke was so thick and black that it cast a shadow on the ground.

Hill Street House Fire

Hill Street House Fire

Fire crews, who arrived just moments after the blast, said it took about an hour to get the blaze under control.

Fire officials said the woman who lives at the home was out of town visiting family when the blaze broke out. Thankfully, she had taken her dog with her.

Since her husband's death about six years ago, she has lived in the home alone. Family members said she is most concerned about photos that were likely lost in the blaze.

No one was injured.

Crews said they have a solid handle on what happened.

"The home is heated with propane.  That would be the only ignitable type of gas that is present at this residence,” Asst. Chief Chesterfield Fire John Boatwright said.

Officials later confirmed a leak in the propane tank sparked the fire.

That propane tank that shot completely through the home is now in pieces on the opposite side of the house from where it normally sits.

WTVR CBS 6 has a crew on the scene. Stay with and watch CBS 6 News after "Elementary" for Jake Burns' complete report on this developing story.