RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — An explosion Friday morning leveled a house in Riverside.

Riverside Fire Department officials responded to the blast, which was reported at 4:39 a.m., to find a residence in the 4100 block of Ivanpah Place fully engulfed in flames.

The kitchen of the home, which was a rental, had been under renovation.

“What we know right now is that the house has been under renovation the last 30 days and some type of gas exploded in the house,” Capt. Bruce Vanderhorst told KNX1070.

In a statement, Javier Mendoza of Southern California Gas Company, said, “Our preliminary investigation has determined that Gas Company facilities were in safe operating condition. The gas main pipeline and the service line up to the gas meter were not a cause or factor in this incident nor were they were leaking.”

No one was in the house, which was completely destroyed, at the time of the incident. The flames threatened nearby houses, officials said, until they were contained by 5:40 a.m.

“We immediately evacuated probably 200 feet in all directions,” Vanderhost said.

Darlene Keller, who was renting one of two homes damaged by the structure’s flames, was forced to evacuate with her family and three dogs.

“Trying to find shoes and you go back to the bedroom because you have to get your phone, you’re trying to call 911. You don’t know what’s going on, and they can’t understand me because I’m freaking out,” she said.

The homeowner had worked out a special agreement with Keller, who has two children in college and could no longer afford rent.

“The insurance will cover for the house and some of the things, but because we’re renters it doesn’t cover for us for somewhere to live, so we don’t have somewhere to live,” Keller said. “We have friends and some family that we can go, but I mean, where do you go for here?”

No injuries were reported.


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