WESTMINSTER, Colo. — The Adams County Coroner's Office confirmed the identity of the man killed in Tuesday's home explosion in Westminster as 51-year-old Duane Cameron Doyle.
On Tuesday afternoon, a cadaver dog alerted crews to possible human remains inside the home that was leveled by an explosion early Tuesday morning in the 7700 block of Knox Court, according to the Westminster Police Department (WPD).
Lt. Brian Clark with Westminster Fire Department (WFD) said the call came in at about 2:38 a.m. Tuesday for a possible home explosion.
The home had been heavily damaged by a previous fire on April 8, 2021, according to WFD. After that fire, WFD said all incoming natural gas and electricity were shut off and the home was boarded up. Water service was also shut off later in the year.
WFD said that since the explosion, they have received numerous tips from neighbors that people have been living in the home, even though it didn't have utilities.
While the cause of the explosion has not been determined yet, investigators said they are looking into whether alternative heating devices being used inside the home could be a possible cause. The full investigation will likely take several weeks, WFD said.
There were no reports of injuries to any of the neighbors in the area around the home, according to WFD.
> Video below: Security camera footage shows moment of Westminster home explosion.
There was a reported gas leak in the area Tuesday and Xcel Energy crews were called in to cut gas service to the area, Clark said. All other residents within the neighborhood were allowed to return home and their utilities were restored, according to Westminster Police.
The cause of the explosion remains under investigation, although Xcel said in its statement that initial safety checks at the property and those adjacent to it found "no indications" of issues within their system.
PHOTOS: Westminster home explosion
David Brand, who lives across the street from the home, said his neighbor's home was leveled in the explosion.
"About 2:30 I was just kind of woken up, shaken out of bed, like a big explosion," said Brand. "And I noticed pictures falling off the wall, plants were knocked over and I originally thought a car had hit my house."
Brand said he looked outside and could see smoke and steam coming from the home across the street, but said he never saw any flames.
Homes on either side of the explosion also sustained extensive damage.
"My windows were pushed in, not broken but pushed in," Brand said. "And the wall was warped, the brick wall was pushed in and my garage door is bent a little but it was pretty minor compared to the neighbors."
Brand said numerous vehicles parked on the street were damaged by flying debris, including bricks that smashed through car windows.
> Video below: Suspected human remains found inside Westminster home leveled by explosion
Xcel's full statement is below:
“Our thoughts are with those impacted by this morning’s incident. Our crews are on the scene and working closely with fire officials and emergency responders to ensure residents in the community are safe. The house has not had gas or electric service since April of last year. Our emergency responders have completed initial safety checks at this property and at the adjacent homes and found no indications of issues with our system at this time. We are working with fire officials on the investigation into the cause of the incident.”
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