December 21, 2014

Elyria
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Vacant house explodes on Columbia Avenue

explosion photo

ELYRIA -– Christopher and Jenny Willard stood across the street from the house they once lived in at 116 Columbia Ave., Elyria as firefighters, police officers and representatives from Columbia Gas swarmed the neighborhood.

At approximately 9:45 p.m. Friday the vacant house exploded, creating strong vibrations that were felt as far away as Wolfey’s Pub near state Route 57 and Elyria Catholic.

The Willards, who now reside in Grafton, according to the Lorain County auditor’s website, did not wish to comment, but stood in shock as firefighters climbed over the rubble that was strewn across the street into neighboring yards.

“We aren’t ready to talk,” the woman said.

The woman did confirm that neighbors contacted her and her husband.

At one point, Christopher Willard picked up a piece of wood and turned it over, trying to think what happened.

Insulation clung to tree limbs and glass shattered onto front porches across the street.

The house, with a market value of $103,710, was destroyed.

Mike and Diane Page, along with their son Andrew Page, resided in 112 Columbia Ave.

“We were all sitting in the living room, there was a huge boom, the house went dark and began shaking,” Andrew Page said.

Mike and Diane Page sat on the front porch of the house across the street, watching firefighters enter their home to make sure it was safe.

“We have two cats,” Diane Page said, as her neighbor put shoes on her bare feet.

Contact Melissa Linebrink at 329-7243 or mlinebrink@chroniclet.com.