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'It's a miracle she's alive': Woman injured in Birmingham house explosion

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Birmingham — A woman suffered minor injuries when her house exploded and caught fire Monday, officials said. 

Birmingham Fire Chief Paul Wells said his department and the Oakland County Sheriff's Office are investigating the cause of the explosion.

This is 1365 Chapin, in Birmingham, May 25, 2020.  The house was the scene of an explosion the morning of Memorial Day.

"She was caught in the middle of a low yield blast," Wells said. "It's a miracle she's alive."

Firefighters were called at about 9:30 a.m. to the home, located in the 1300 block of Chapin near Woodward and 14 Mile, due to a report of a house fire, he said.

The alarm was raised as a possible house explosion, Wells said. Inside, firefighters found the home's owner, a woman. She had sustained only minor injuries and didn't want to go to a hospital, he said.

No other injuries were reported, the fire chief said.

While the windows and some brick on the woman's house were blown out and the structure partially collapsed, Wells said none of her neighbors' homes were damaged in the explosion.

Workers inspect 1365 Chapin, in Birmingham, May 25, 2020.  The house was the scene of an explosion the morning of Memorial Day.

The fire chief said the woman had returned to her home after about two weeks away and began plugging in and turning on appliances when the explosion happened.

There could have been a gas leak, Wells said, and a Consumers Energy crew is on site to investigate. The woman suffers from allergies and told firefighters she couldn't detect any unusual odors, he said.