Mar 9, 2011 2:57 PM by Zach Thaxton

Explosion investigation moves slowly, occupants still missing

More than twelve hours after a Colorado Springs home exploded and erupted in towering flames, its occupants were still unaccounted for and a cause for the explosion remained undetermined.

The explosion was reported at 11:54 p.m. Tuesday on the 3300 block of Knotwood Drive on Colorado Springs' southeast side near South Academy Boulevard and South Chelton Road.  The subsequent fire shot flames as high as 50 feet in the air, singeing nearby trees.  The residents of the home, a 74-year-old woman and her 51-year-old son, were unaccounted for following the blast, according to a fire department spokesperson.  Several cars remained parked in the driveway after the fire.  Two of them belonged to the residents of the home, according to neighbors.

Wednesday afternoon, investigators with Colorado Springs Utilities and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms assisted police and fire department crews in slowly sifting through debris.  Fire personnel were hesitant to speculate on a cause for the explosion, but based on the intensity of the blast and the tremendous heat from the subsequent fire, spokeswoman Sunny Smaldino said it is plausible that the explosion was due to a gas or chemical leak of some sort.

Neighbors told News First 5 the mother and son living in the home had two dogs, which they believed to be Chows.

"Before" picture from google maps.

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