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Neighbors hear loud 'boom' and find house exploded in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH, Ind. - A lightning strike hitting a natural gas line may be the cause of a devastating house explosion in Marshall County.

It happened in the 1600 block of Cook Lake Trail right along the shore of the lake outside Plymouth, but thankfully no one was inside when it happened.

The lakefront house is a total loss and debris is strewn everywhere. The explosion was so powerful an air conditioner was blown all the way here into the neighbor's yard.

“What’s going on? We walked around the front and the whole house was gone,” Tom Merton, a neighbor, said.

The house went from spotless to wrecked in a matter of seconds.

Neighbors describe the Sunday night explosion on Cook Lake Trail.

“I heard this explosion, pshhh,” Karen Holdeman said.

“I thought it might’ve been a lightning strike at first,” Merton said

Rebecca Cormican said she heard it all the way across the lake.

“We just heard this loud kaboom,” Cormican said. “We came outside to see the house had fallen. We stood outside and watched as ambulances and fire trucks come by."

Merton and Holdeman live next door to the house.

“I looked out and the pier was on fire. It was the north wall from that house,” Holdeman said.

The house exploded in all four directions.

“The whole south wall went there. The whole north wall went there and the east and west went,” Merton said.

Windows flew across the street.

“They were sitting out on their back deck. He said all he saw was a window go flying by,” he said.

The roof split off part of it flying forward into the water and sideways into the garage.

No one was home at the time, but neighbors felt the shake and worried the fire would spread.

 “I was worried more about catching a bigger fire because the garage was ready to collapse and if the garage collapsed and the house caught fire,” Merton said. “Very close to the shop and my garage.”

Fire crews were back throughout the night to deal with hotspots.

"It started smoking again. Fire trucks came and they were putting out the fire. They were grabbing debris out of the lake as it was smoking,” Cormican said.

The vacant house was just bought about a month ago and was being renovated. Now, the new owner will have to change plans.

The Plymouth Fire Department Chief said the cause is unknown but says they aren’t ruling out a lightning strike hitting a natural gas line, because of the storms.

He said he is waiting for the National Weather Service to get back to him.

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