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Tarrant County home explodes, injuring one; $1.7 million house a total loss

A house that was undergoing renovations exploded and burned to the ground Saturday night in Benbrook, injuring one man.

The explosion occurred about 7:30 p.m. in the 8000 block of Bella Flora Court.

Two workers were in the house painting and putting lacquer in, according to Tarrant County Fire Marshal Keith Ebel.

“They were doing renovations. Whatever they were applying found an ignition source, either a light switch coming on or something, anything that can cause a little spark,” he said. “Pretty much the second the event occurred, the house was a total loss.”

One of the workers suffered burns to his arm and was flown to a hospital. Officials said his injury was not life threatening.

The more than 6,000-square-foot home was valued at $1.7 million, with a tennis court and a pool in the back. The homeowners were not there when the house exploded.

A neighbor, Ken Merchant, was in his garage four houses down when he heard a loud bang.

“My first thought was the garage door had broken. We realized when we heard alarms something else had happened,” he said. “We saw all the brick had been blown off the house.”

house explosion 2
A house on Bella Flora Court in Tarrant County was a total loss after an explosion and fire April 6. Submitted

Neighbors shut off the gas to the house, Merchant said. Another neighbor who is a firefighter, Howard Porter, put out a fire in the garage before other firefighters arrived.

“One of the painters had his left arm burned pretty badly,” Merchant said. “They put wet rags on until the EMT got there.”

No other houses in the area appeared to be damaged by the explosion.

“We had one house struck by lightning a few years ago,” said Merchant, who has lived on the street for about four years. “It burned to the ground. There’s something about big vacant houses, but luckily no one was home.”

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Kaley Johnson is a breaking news and enterprise reporter. She majored in investigative reporting at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has a passion for bringing readers in-depth, complex stories that will impact their lives. Send your tips via email or Twitter.
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