No injuries after Phoenix church explodes, roof collapses

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Phoenix Fire Department) (Source: Phoenix Fire Department)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

People were let back into their homes after firefighters forced evacuations because of a roof collapse and explosion at a Phoenix church, firefighters said.

The explosion was reported near 15th Avenue and Buckeye Road, according to the Phoenix Fire Department.

Homes were evacuated to the north and west of a small church after the explosion which may or may not have been caused by natural gas.

At this time, firefighters cannot definitively determine whether the church collapsed secondary to a natural gas leak or if there was a collapse first that resulted in a natural gas leak, said Capt. Larry Subervi with the Phoenix Fire Department.

Search dogs found no evidence that anyone was inside the building.

The pastor of the church also confirmed that no one should have been inside, said Subervi.

People were let back into their homes around 9 p.m. after Southwest Gas crews came in and secured the gas in the entire area.

The incident was originally called a fire and gas explosion, but firefighters say there was no fire to the structure.

The cause of the explosion and collapse is under investigation.

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