The investigation into what caused a Black Forest home to explode continues. It happened Wednesday afternoon just off of Hogden and Thompson Roads. And fire investigators say it was a home they’ve been to before.
On Thursday afternoon, a body was found inside the demolished home. At this time, authorities will have to use medical records to determine if it’s that of the home owner. A positive identification could take several days. The man’s name has not yet been released.
Neighbors say the initial explosion that demolished the home could be seen for miles. "I saw a flash and then a mushroom cloud and debris. So it was a heck of an explosion," says Clinton Brown.
The powerful blast took out the main walls of the home---even sending one into a nearby storage trailer. Debris was found up to 200 feet from the house. "I was in the Marine Corps for a while. I've seen a lot of explosions. This was a big one," says Brown.
Another indication of how powerful this explosion was---for hours, the scene was still too unstable for investigators to get inside. "It was too hot to get in there. We still had different things that were blowing up on the scene. So it was too dangerous to get in there last night, so we came back this morning," says Sgt. Rick McMorran of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
The man who lived in the home was retired and was believed to be home at the time of the explosion. His wife was in Denver. And investigators are fairly sure of what caused the blast. "The history with him is he did experimenting with model rocketry, and some material involved with that are some of the same materials you might make explosives with," says McMorran.
The evidence shows that the blast was caused by explosives, and that it originated in a basement workshop at the home. And that's where the search for the man's remains were focused. Investigators say, at this time, they are still not sure how much explosive material was in the home.
In the past, fire crews had been called to the home for a small fire. Another time, it was for a small explosion. And investigators say the man had even been cited for fourth degree arson, after one of his model rockets started a grass fire.