BUFORD, Ga. - Firefighters believe a gas leak caused an explosion that leveled a home on Lake Lanier.
Hall County Fire Chief David Kimbrell said a family of three was seriously hurt in the early morning blast at the end of Blackberry Lane, off McEver Road in Buford. The explosion was so powerful it could be heard from more than 10 miles away.
Dan and Susan Johnson were asleep in the home, along with their adult son, Allen. All three survived and were transported to separate hospitals in critical condition.
Though firefighters believe the blast was gas-related, they are still working to determine exactly what caused the explosion. They do not suspect foul play.
"This is something you read about and watch on television," said Hall County Fire Chief David Kimbrell. "I've been around for 27 years doing this and I've never seen one with this degree of explosion that didn't involve some type of fire."
The explosion happened around 5:40 Friday morning. Neighbors said the sound jolted them out of their beds.
"I didn't know if the world was coming to an end," said Nancy Karr, whose windows were blown out from the force of the blast. "It just scared the living daylights out of me."
Jim Wingo came outside to hear his neighbor calling for help.
"I went over and Allen, the son, was pinned under a piece of wall," he said. "I was able to lift the wall up enough for him to slide out a little bit."
Fire marshals estimate it could take several weeks before the investigation is complete.