A Commerce Township house explosion just after midnight Thursday rocked the area on the 3000 block of Abrutus Street, near Pittsfield, and sent at least two people to hospitals with injuries.
The loud explosion and massive fire – which destroyed nearly the entire home and garage – was so powerful, fire officials said, it blew large bits of shrapnel across the street.
“We responded with our entire department,” Commerce Township Fire Chief Jim Dundas said, adding that the fire’s cause is under investigation. “When our guys go there, the entire house was involved in fire.”
Firefighters confirmed the house exploded at about 12:30 a.m. and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said investigators are trying to determine whether arson caused the the fire.
Dundas added that marijuana plants were found at the home, and the fire is likely connected to a grow operation. Butane gas, which is highly flammable, appears to have been used in the effort to extract cannabis oil from the plants.
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Two men who appeared to be in their 20s were rescued from the blast, according to the sheriff’s office, the first big explosion was followed by smaller ones, according to news crews.
Neighboring homes were also damaged from the fire.
At least two other fire department were involved, Milford and Walled Lake.
When fire officials arrived, flames were shooting from the home.
Firefighters moved a half dozen butane tanks away from the house. No one was inside the house, and the two men who were injured appeared to live in the house and were found outside.
Authorities said one of the men was rushed to Royal Oak Beaumont hospital and is being treated for serous injuries; and the other man was taken to Novi Providence hospital.