Nobody was injured when part of a home exploded in the Morley Heights neighborhood of Duluth on Thursday morning. Damage to the home is estimated at more than $200,000.

A next-door neighbor described the explosion as sounding as if a bomb had dropped on the home at 611 Everett St. shortly after 9 a.m.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

“I saw a large orange explosion out the window,” said Dave Frankenfeld, a program director at a DRCC group home next door. “It was loud and it shook the house.”  

Two family members were in the home where the explosion occurred, but escaped without injury, said Assistant Chief Clint Reff of the Duluth Fire Department. The initial investigation indicated that the explosion was caused by a leak in a propane heating system, authorities said.

There was no subsequent fire in the home.  

“The explosion self-extinguished,” Reff said, as firefighters milled about the scene. Damage was most visible in the back of the home, where large chunks of the roof and walls from part of the home that contained an indoor gymnasium were scattered about the yard.

An indoor basketball hoop and backboard was lying in the snow with the net burned. Gray flakes of ash littered the snow. An attached garage door on the front of the home was crumpled and the first-floor windows at the front of the two-story home were blown out of the window frames.

The owners of the home had been notified, Reff said, and had arrived on the scene. Multiple other neighbors gathering at the scene said they only heard the explosion and expressed relief that no one was hurt. The explosion caused an estimated $230,000 in damage to the home, the fire department reported.