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 3 Homes Destroyed, Dozens More Damaged by Explosion

Home Explosion on Holmes Drive

Several homes heavily damaged in explosion that leveled a home on Holmes Drive, just off of McArdle. Witnesses rushed to save families in shock. 2 men were taken to San Antonio to be treated for burns

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9 months ago

3 Homes Destroyed, Dozens More Damaged by Explosion

CORPUS CHRISTI - The American Red Cross in is the process of counting the number of residents affected by this morning's explosion that leveled a home on Holmes Drive that injured two men.

Three homes were destroyed in the explosion and fire that followed. At least 15 homes, plus dozens more apartments and businesses were damaged.

Power and natural gas services is still out for many in the area.

The Red Cross is in the process of providing cold water, warm meals and temporary lodging to 18 families.

Emergency personnel are also being provided with cold water and snacks during the cleanup effort.

While there's no official cause for the explosion, one of the men injured told people the last thing he remembers is lighting a cigarette. That's leading investigators to look into a possible natural gas leak.

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9 months ago

Courageous People Pull Victims From Burning Home

CORPUS CHRISTI - As you can imagine, emotions were running high on Holmes Drive Friday morning. Neighbors were confused as to what was going on and first responders were doing what they could to help.

Through all the chaos some good samaritans stepped in to pull people from their burning homes. Mike Obenhaus and Omar Zitooni are local heroes after instinctively running to rescue victims in need.

"Probably the craziest thing I've ever been a part of. I started crying once it all happened, seeing blood, people all sliced up, and kids crying," Obenhaus said.

It was tear jerking for the two men to see the black smoke filling the sky as they quickly made their way across the La Palmera Mall parking lot to aid victims trapped inside their homes.

"We were at Ihop and heard an explosion, we ran outside, we thought a car ran into Ihop but come to find out we saw the smoke, so we started running over there," Zitooni said.

Zitooni and Obenhaus quickly began pulling people out of the burning home that was right next to the house that was leveled in the blast.

Fire officials say it's thanks to Zitooni and Obenhaus's heroic actions that saved lives.

"It was a little boy and little girl, a guy, he was all cut up and a mom and dad," Obenhaus added.

"Afterwards, we ran back into the fire when they told us not too, and we found a person there. We got him on a stretcher and into the ambulance, and I just hope everything's all right," Zitooni said.

Zitooni has first aid experience and says he was just at the right place at the right time. He says anyone in that situation would have done the same thing.

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9 months ago

Wife and Kids Found Safe After Home Explosion

CORPUS CHRISTI - The mother and two children feared missing this morning after a home explosion were found safe.

Fire officials tell us she and the kids were out of town when a suspect natural gas explosion leveled their place on Holmes Drive.

Her husband is being treated at a burn unit in San Antonio along with another man who did not live at the house.

The names of the injured have not been released by officials. At this point, everyone is accounted for in the area.

It was just before 5:30 a.m. when the large blast levelled the home in the 4800 block. The blast sent debris into and onto neighbors homes, broke windows blocks away, and sent flames tearing through a home.

An injured man taken away from the scene said the last thing he remembered was lighting a cigarette.

Two men eating at the nearby IHOP thought they heard a car hit the restaurant. Once outside, Omar Zitooni and Michael Obenhaus immediately rushed to a home to rescue the parents and children inside.

Homes in the area are still without natural gas and electrical service. At least 8 homes sustained significant damage.

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9 months ago

Fire Captain: Wife and Kids Found Safe

CORPUS CHRISTI - Firefighters who were trying to track down a woman and two children known to live at the home on Holmes Drive that exploded this morning found they were not in town at the time.

We're told it was her husband who was blown into the backyard by the blast. The other man, who does not live at the home, was sent flying into the park by the explosion.

They're both being treated at a burn unit in San Antonio.

It was just before 5:30 a.m. when the large blast levelled the home in the 4800 block. The blast sent debris into and onto neighbors homes, broke windows blocks away, and sent flames tearing through a home.

An injured man taken away from the scene said the last thing he remembered was lighting a cigarette.

Two men eating at the nearby IHOP thought they heard a car hit the restaurant. Once outside, Omar Zitooni and Michael Obenhaus immediately rushed to a home to rescue the parents and children inside.

Homes in the area are still without natural gas and electrical service. At least 8 homes sustained significant damage.

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9 months ago

Grandson Hit With Flying Debris as He Slept

CORPUS CHRISTI - Residents on Holmes Drive remain without power or natural gas service as investigators try to find out what caused a large explosion at their neighbor's home this morning.

Two men, ages 25 and 60, were taken to a burn unit in San Antonio for treatment.

Fire officials say they are still working to track down 3 people who live in the home but are unaccounted for at the time. They're not sure if they were even home at the time.

People reported feeling and hearing this explosion as far away as Ocean Drive. Homes several blocks away and even an apartment complex just across the park from the site were damaged.

The woman who lives next door to the home leveled by the blast says she was getting ready to go to a sea turtle release when she felt the blast from inside her garage.

Her grandson was asleep in bed when debris came flying at him. He didn't even know what hit him.

"I went out the front door and I went towards truck and she was coming out of the garage, I just started yelling grandma grandma with the faint voice I had," said Sebastian Grett.

Fortunately, he found his grandma in the front yard and they made their way to the park across the street. He does have some scrapes from debris crashing into his bedroom early this morning, but nothing serious.

"He managed to come right straight out the front door and looking for me to make sure I was okay. Had I been in my bedroom, I don't think I'd of fared as well," said Denise Bracey.

Her home is pretty much a total loss from the explosion.

Sheriff Jim Kaelin says one of his deputies who lives next door reported a wall came crashing down in the explosion.

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9 months ago

Men Rush to Rescue Families after Home Explosion

CORPUS CHRISTI - Early this morning people living on the southside a town heard and felt a large boom this morning. The blast at a home on Holmes Drive injured two men are on the way to a burn unit in San Antonio.

By chance, Omar Zitooni and Michael Obenhaus were eating at the IHOP on South Padre Island when they heard the same boom, but they thought it was car crash.

Once they got outside they noticed a nearby home was in flames and several others were damaged. Zitooni and Obenhaus ran towards the scene to begin their own rescue operation.

Obenhaus told us, "Probably the craziest thing I've ever been a part of. I started crying once it all happened, seeing blood, people all sliced up, and kids crying."

Zitooni says someone flashed a light to get his attention at one house. First, the family handed over a dog, then they got the kids out. Obenhaus then knocked a wall down in order to get their parents out.

The men tell us they ignored advice to stay away from a burning home and went back in looking for additional victims. Thye brought one person out to firefighters and paramedics.

"Honestly, I think its was something that anyone that was in the same situation would've done," said Zitooni.

At this hour, Holmes Drive and McArdle remains closed as investigators look into the possibility a natural gas leak leveled the home and damaged at least seven more.

Sebastian Grett tells us he was still in bed when debris came flying into his home next door. His first instinct was to get out and check on his grandmother.

"I went out the front door and I went towards truck and she was coming out of the garage, I just started yelling grandma, grandma with the faint voice I had," says Grett.

The grandson and grandmother escaped serious injury.

The Kings Square Apartments across the street also sustained damaged from the blast.

A witness tells us one of the victims said the last thing he remembered was lighting a cigarette. The blast knocked out windows at neighboring homes.

We're told a 60 year-old man and a 25-year-old man who were in the house are on their way to a San Antonio burn unit.

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9 months ago

Home Explosion Rocks Southside Neighborhood

CORPUS CHRISTI - A possible natural gas explosion leveled a house in the early hours this morning near La Palmera Mall.

People in the neighborhood said they heard and felt the explosion around 5:15 a.m. First responders made it to the homes just before 5:30 a.m.

Officials say two people injured in the explosion were flown to a burn unit in San Antonio for treatment. Their names have not been released.

Eight homes have fire damage, and one of the homes on the 4800 block of Holmes Drive is completely leveled from the explosion.

Neighboring homes have debris strewn on their roofs.

The power and gas had to be cut off to the entire neighborhood as crews continued to work on the fire.

Some civilian first responders went to the scene after they heard the explosion while at IHOP on SPID. They helped pull out the victims from the scene.

Several people in surrounding neighborhoods described the blast as a plane crash.

Many streets in the area had to be closed down while crews worked on the investigation. The Corpus Christi Bomb Squad is in the area assisting.

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9 months ago

UPDATE (8:30AM): Home Explosion This Morning; 4800 Block of Holmes

CORPUS CHRISTI -

8:30am Update: Fire crews are still on the scene of a home explosion on the 4800 block of Holmes street near La Palmera Mall. We are now being told that at least 8 homes have been directly affected by the blast and have sustained some fire damage. This does not include surrounding homes who had windows blown out. Also, a nearby apartment complex was impacted due to the blast, but the extent of the damage is being assessed at this time along with the entire area. Gas and electricity continues to be shut off as fire and police officials monitor the scene. For now, residents are still nearby as some firefighters are digging around affected homes to retrieve some personal items such as purses and wallets for the residents. Stay with us for all the latest details.

7:30am Update: A home explosion occurred in the 4800 block of Holmes this morning around 5:30am from what is believed to be a gas leak.

We are now hearing that three individuals have been transported to area hospitals who's conditions are not known at this time. Firefighters have updated our Janine Reyes and Rachel Cole that three homes have been impacted with one home that was completely leveled where the explosion occurred and two neighboring homes where the flames spread. Elsewhere in the vicinity, many windows were blown out from the blast.

Fire crews also tell us that the scene is still very active and not safe at this point. We are also being told that residents from surrounding neighborhoods showed up moments after the blast to help those who were still in the affected homes get to safety and out of harms way.

Stay with us as we continue to get updates from this active scene throughout the morning and again at Noon, 5,6, and 10.

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