COPPERAS COVE — An explosion caused a house fire in east-central Copperas Cove Tuesday morning, according to Copperas Cove Fire Department spokesman and deputy chief Gary Young.
As a result of the explosion that occurred around 11:50 a.m. Tuesday, Young said, firefighters arrived to a fully engulfed house in the 600 block of Judy Lane.
One man was taken to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple. As of around 1:15 p.m., Young had not disclosed the man’s condition.
Young said he does not believe the explosion was natural gas related, but said the fire department will investigate to find a cause.
Neighbors and nearby residents described the scene from Tuesday morning. They helped pull the man from the garage to a safer place away from the fire.
One of the neighbors, Joseph Gogue, lives across the street and said he was in his bedroom when the explosion happened.
“I heard the explosion,” he said. “I looked out the window, and I saw the neighbor’s house damaged.”
Gogue equated the sound of the explosion to that of a bomb going off.
His wife, Josephine Gogue, yelled out when she saw the flames.
“I said, ‘Oh, my God, the neighbor’s house is on fire,’” his wife said.
When he realized what had happened, instinct kicked in.
“I ran in and helped him out,” Gogue said.
Gogue’s son also helped pull the man from the garage to the street.
“I hesitated, because I wasn’t sure if the truck was going to explode,” said Joseph Gogue Jr. who saw the cab of the man’s truck engulfed in flames.
One nearby resident who lives about a block away on Allen Street, said she had just finished mowing grass when everything happened.
“I was inside getting a drink, and all of a sudden, I heard it,” said Jennifer Schnelle.
She described the explosion as an “extremely loud boom.”
She said when she arrived, she was trying to ask the man if there was anyone else inside the house.
Viewing the house from nearby Amthor Avenue, debris from the house had been blown out into the driveway. Schnelle said the hotter the flames got, the further the debris went.
Schnelle said debris was flying from the fire into and across the street.
Young said only one explosion was reported in phone calls to the department, but both Schnelle and Gogue said they heard multiple minor explosions.
Another nearby resident, Cleophus Roland, said he was coming home after the fire began, but wanted to stop by to check on people.
“By the time I got here, first responders — everybody — was dug in deep,” said Roland who lives on Creek Street at the end of a cul-de-sac.
Assisting the Copperas Cove Fire Department were the Fort Hood Fire Department and Killeen Fire Department EMS.
Copperas Cove Police Department had Creek Street and Judy Lane blocked off from Amthor Avenue to Bowen Avenue