Home Explosion Caused by Hydroponics Lab: Cops - NBC 6 South Florida

Home Explosion Caused by Hydroponics Lab: Cops

The explosion caused a partial roof collapse

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Home's Wall Exploded, Was Hydroponics Lab: Cops

    Police at the scene of a southwest Miami-Dade home explosion confirmed Saturday that the house contained a hydroponics lab. The explosion, which happened just after 11 a.m. near 63rd Street and 151st Place, forced authorities to evacuate the neighborhood. Video of the scene showed several Miami-Dade Fire Rescue trucks on the street and tile blown off of the home's roof. Neighbor Ana Egusquiza talked about feeling the explosion from her home. (Published Monday, Sept. 24, 2012)

    Police at the scene of a southwest Miami-Dade home explosion confirmed Saturday that the blast was caused by a hydroponics lab.

    The explosion happened just after 11 a.m. near 63rd Street and 151st Place and forced authorities to evacuate the neighborhood. Video of the scene showed the home's roof detached and several firetrucks.

    "They have chemicals,” said Det. Alvaro Zabaleta, who said the incident was one of the worst the force had seen in years. “A lot of vapors, use electricity that they steal from company, obviously they don't do it by code, they don't do it by professionals. And when you combine all these elements, it’s just a formula for disaster."

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    Ana Egusquiza said the explosion caused her house to shake nearby.

    "I felt the explosion," she said. "I was at home reading sitting down. The explosion felt like it was coming from the ground and the house shook. When I went outside the windows were blown out and everything was shattered. The front of the house was on the ground. Everything had crumbled."

    Orlando Martinez compared the blast to an earthquake zone.

    "I've been in an earthquake and it felt like an earthquake,” he said. “It took me about a second not in earthquake zone."

    Another neighbor told NBC 6 South Florida that four adults and one child, who occupied the house as renters, were inside during the incident and then fled in a vehicle.

    Police are searching for two vehicles but will not confirm how many people fled.

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    Equsquiza said that a barefoot woman exited the home with a 4-year-old and a 3-month-old.

    "I banged on the car and told them not to go, that the fire department was here, and they didn't listen to me," she said.

    Police believe that homeowner, who surveyed damage to the house, is not involved in the incident .The house is scheduled to be demolished Sunday.

    Stay with NBC 6 for updates.