Explosion, fire ravages home in Claremont

- An explosion and fire caused major damage to a house in Claremont, but no injuries were reported.

Most of an older model home was gone after it exploded Monday afternoon.

Investigators with the Los Angeles County Fire Department said they got the call just before 3 p.m. that a house near 12th Street and Harvard Avenue exploded.

Neighbors said it felt like an earthquake.

“It was big. It was big and I had just gotten out of my back porch and it kind of knocked me back,” said Nancy Goodman.

Nicholas Sliter and his parents collected what was left of their belongings from the home they were renting through Airbnb. The family was in from Ohio visiting colleges in Claremont.

Sliter was visiting The Claremont Colleges when his mom called and said she ran out the house.

“She said there was an explosion and then everything was on fire.”

The 16-year-old said he was relieved no one was hurt.

“It’s kind of—life’s unpredictable,” he continued. “I mean, if we had been coming back and we were right here—if we were right there and it blew up, we’d be gone.”

LACFD inspector, David Michael said the main part of the home had heavy smoke and fire damage and it took 30 minutes to contain the fire.

“This structure does appear to be a total loss. Like I said, this was an aggressive fire.”

Right now, the cause of the incident was unclear to both investigators and the home’s owner, Ron Podojil.

“To me, it doesn’t make sense. I just don’t know how really what could have possibly caused it,” Podojil said. “All the systems were relatively updated when I bought the house and redid it 10 years ago.”

By 10 p.m. 12th Street was back open to traffic.

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