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Published: Tuesday, 1/26/2010

Cleveland house explosion injures at least 4

CLEVELAND — An explosion obliterated a home Monday afternoon, led to evacuations and injured at least four people who were nearby, Cleveland fire officials said.

Neighbors said the house was vacant. Firefighters were unable to check to see if anyone was trapped inside of the blast because of the amount of debris, but the coroner was not called to the scene, said Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office spokesman Caesar Powell.

Two nearby buildings also caught fire. Firefighters have controlled the flames and evacuated nearby residents.

The house was destroyed, said fire department spokesman Larry Gray. Four adults who were near the house were taken to hospitals with injuries not considered life-threatening, he said.

Gray said authorities suspect but haven't confirmed a gas leak.

Windows were shattered in at least 11 houses across the street, and structures as far as two blocks away were damaged, Gray said.

Authorities were still trying to determine how many families will be displaced by damage to their homes.

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