Peoria house explosion caused by natural gas leak - FOX 35 News Orlando

Peoria house explosion caused by natural gas leak

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Tiara Del Rio Tiara Del Rio
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PEORIA, Ariz. -

The family of a 21-year old woman burned when her house exploded is speaking out. The woman and a man were inside the home near 79th Avenue and Cholla when a massive explosion destroyed the home, and sent both of them to the hospital in bad shape.

First a look at this tremendous explosion. To show you how powerful it was, the house was gutted. And then a fierce fire. According to her family, 21 year-old Tiara Del Rio was injured in Wednesday's devastating explosion, along with her boyfriend.

Her family says his name is Beau, age 32.

Both have very serious injuries and are now in the burn center at Maricopa Medical Center.

"When we came in here last night to see her, she was aware, awake, said she lit a candle, things went boom. Beau carried her outside and then she woke up here," says Stephen Lewis, Tiara's uncle.

The morning after, investigators are picking their way through charred 2-by-4s after the teeth-rattling blast.

Dogs sniffed through the rubble -- maybe an indication there may be competing theories into what went so terribly wrong. Southwest Gas has been out there, but now we are also seeing police and fire investigators.

The ATF is on the scene as well looking for clues. The explosion has neighbors' nerves on edge.

"There were multiple explosions, almost sounded like propane tanks were going off like, shoosh shoosh shoosh shoosh," says neighbor Kayla Alonzo.

Meanwhile, Tiara Del Rio's family is grateful for the help of her boyfriend.

"I really wanted to get with you guys, to thank Beau for pulling her out of that. In my mind he is a hero, we told his family last night. We consider him a hero in our family and when this is all said and done I will consider him a hero forever."

UPDATE: Police officials said Thursday night they believe the gas leak began from digging going on in the home's backyard. Crews have turned off the gas to nearby homes.

Related story: 2 critically burned when Peoria house explodes

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