AKRON, Ohio - Firefighters said a homeowner was lucky he wasn't inside his house Saturday night when it exploded.
Akron's fire department said neighbors began calling them around 8 p.m. about a house explosion at 515 Anderson Avenue.
When firefighters arrived, the house was completely engulfed in flames that were shooting as tall as the power lines and some of the trees.
Sam Lindsey, who lives a few doors down, showed NewsChannel5 cell phone video that he captured. "I was outside putting something in my car, and then all of a sudden, I looked to the side and the house exploded. I was worried that someone may have been in the house. It sounded like a bomb," Lindsey said.
The homeowner, Edward Wilson, 63, was not inside. Wilson told NewsChannel 5 he left his house hours earlier and came back to find his house on fire. "I never smelled gas. I never would have left the house if I would have smelled gas," Wilson said.
Wilson said two cats and a dog lived inside and have not been found. "We could hear them yelping and then you didn't hear them yelping anymore, said Rose, a woman who lives across the street.
"I miss my animals," Wilson said.
Officials with AFD said a connection to a gas dryer became loose and the gas filled the home until it came into contact "with an ignition source, which could've been the refrigerator."
The large explosion shook houses with one neighbor describing it as sounding like a "freight train."
Investigators deemed the $60,000 house a total loss.
AFD said make sure your gas dryer connections are secure. If you ever smell an odor, go outside and call 911.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
An Akron resident tells police his safe containing $40,000 was stolen from his apartment.
An Akron handyman pleaded guilty to robbing two elderly people and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.