TOMBALL, Texas - Authorities say a man has died after an explosion and a fire at a home in Tomball.
Firefighters and police responded to a report of an explosion in the 200 block of Vernon Street around 11:15 p.m. Wednesday.
They found the home fully engulfed in flames. It took firefighters about 15 minutes to get a bulk of the flames knocked down.
The fire department says investigators from multiple agencies have been working through the night on what preliminary appears to be a suicide involving the intentional ignition of the blast using a combination of flammable liquid and natural gas.
The unidentified male is believed to be the only casualty at this time. The damage to surrounding homes and a school was minimal.
"It's extremely, extremely puzzling quite frankly that with a denonation of that size, we did not have collatoral damage in other parts," said Chief Randall Parr with Tomball Fire Department. "We're still trying to ascertain really how the explosion occured and the way that the walls came out and the way that the roof went up. We think a lot of the energy was generated upwards through the roof system rather than up through the walls."
Bonnie Navarro lives directly across the street and felt the blast. It shattered a window pane near the table where she and her family were sitting at the time of the explosion. She is thankful the damage was minimal.
"That could have hurt anyone of us, and there [were] at least 4 people at the table. We were just talking about our day, and just in a matter of minutes it could have been gone," she said.
People who were several miles away from the house reported feeling their homes shake at the time of the explosion.
Authorities say Public Works utilities crews conducted an inspection and determined that the natural gas system is in working order and there is no danger to the public.
If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text to 741-741
CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support.