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Fire officials: Home explosion in Santa Maria accidental, caused by open natural gas outlet

Santa Maria Fire officials who were on the scene Wednesday say the explosion was “accidental in nature,” adding that it originated in the kitchen.
jackie lane
Posted at 5:39 PM, Aug 24, 2023

One Santa Maria home is destroyed and nearly two dozen others are damaged after a house caught fire and exploded Wednesday, Aug. 24.

On Thursday, much destruction was still present in the neighborhood, with multiple red tags on the damaged homes.

“This is my first time dealing with this. I don’t usually deal with explosions like this,” said Joe Cedillos, president of the Homeowners Association for Hancock Village, where the explosion took place.

He was out on Jackie Lane surveying the damage on Thursday.

“This explosion impacted a lot of residents as a lot of their windows were blown out,” he says. “What I did was have one of the construction companies that we use come out and board up a lot of the windows so at least the residents, at least the ones that are livable can be secure.”

He says throughout the day, he has gone door-to-door making sure neighbors are alright.

Meanwhile, Rudy Razo, who lives just a few houses down from the damage, says Wednesday’s explosion shook his entire home.

 “I figure it might have been something in my backyard it was that close," Razo said told KSBY. "I thought maybe a gas tank blew from a barbeque I had the weekend before. Soon, we were inundated with people. Everyone was curious, scared, wondering, asking a thousand questions."

Santa Maria fire officials who were on the scene Wednesday say the explosion was “accidental in nature,” adding that it originated in the kitchen and the cause was an open natural gas outlet.

“It makes me nervous that something like this can happen again, yes,” Razo admitted. “What it does is, it makes you look at what things I am doing or not doing at home that can cause something like this.”

Joe Cedillos says he is also having inspectors come by the neighborhood to examine the extent of the damage. He says an exterior fence will soon be installed around the perimeter of the area.

We also asked Santa Maria Fire officials for an update on those who were injured, but they said that information was not yet available.