Man survives fiery explosion at Hayward home


Just before 5 a.m. the explosion ripped a door from the house off its hinges and blew it 70 feet away.

"It was about 5 a.m., I heard a big bang. I thought it was an earthquake. Looked out the window saw the fire at the house right here -- came out and started taking some video with my iPhone," said Ernesto Perez, neighbor.

Firefighters say the flames were fueled by natural gas -- the meter was spinning. Arcing power lines were also down. When daylight came, the damage became clear. The home's walls were moved off the foundation. Windows of nearby homes and cars were blown out. Roof shingles were hanging in a tree 30 feet away. Amazingly, the man sleeping inside at the time of the explosion still lives and he walked away with his dog.

"They finally got him on the stretcher and put him in the ambulance. He looked very dazed, very confused as you could imagine," said Louis Rivezzo, neighbor.

The man, identified as Jeff, was released from the hospital just a few hours later with some stitches to his leg and staples on his head. He came home briefly to talk with firefighters. He didn't want to go on camera, but said he was doing fine. Everyone else who saw his home was amazed he was alive.

"Luck, a lot of luck, that's incredible, that was a very violent blast," said Rivezzo.

Firefighters are not sure where the gas leak came from in the house and what sparked the explosion.

Copyright © 2024 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.