Residents react to car wash explosion - WNEM TV 5

Residents react to car wash explosion

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Many businesses and homes are on cleanup duty Monday after an explosion shook their neighborhood.

"It literally looked like something major happened," said Brandon Loper, manager of Papa Sam's Coney Island.

The explosion happened at On the Spot Auto Wash on North Saginaw Street on Sunday night. It caused pieces of the building to fly through the air, and blasts smashed windows up to half a mile away.

"Out of nowhere I was at the grill and I heard a big ol' boom of thunder and the ground beneath me went down, and shook and I went down like that," Loper said.

Next door to the car wash was Grandma Kays Family Diner. It will need major repairs after the side of the building got severely damaged. 

"Mass chaos. They were having trouble with crowd control because it rattled homes for miles from here," said Donald Lemmon, owner of the Auto Value store next door to the explosion.

Lemmon was called in Sunday night to see how bad the damage was to his business. He was grateful it wasn't worse.

"It sucked the windows and doors out of my building. It knocked stuff off of the shelves. It cleared the offices, all the paper work on the floor. That's how intense of an explosion it was," Lemmon said. 

Although he said the RVs in his parking lot were hit a lot worse.

There was so much damage done to the RVs parked next to the car wash, Lemmon said many of them will have to be totaled.

Residents in the area said the car wash was recently remodeled and under new ownership. 

While the damage is wide-spread, the residents said it was probably lucky it happened on a Sunday night when most of the businesses were closed.

"I'd hate to be in a war-stricken area because now I see the amount of damage just this caused. It's just devastating," Lemmon said.

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