911 tapes highlight panic after Ceres house explosion | News
CERES, CA - Panicked callers swamped 911 lines after a Saturday morning blast demolished a vacant home, damaged several others and shattered glass in 21 homes across the neighborhood.
In one of the first, a female caller startles a 911 operator whe she said, "There's a big, old bomb behind our house on Foster!"
The operator asked the woman to repeat herself and she said, "It sounded like something exploded in the house behind us."
The 911 operator asked her to hold as the woman exclaimed, "Oh my God," and was then put on hold as other calls came pouring in.
Ceres police said neighbors around the home in the 700 block of Foster Drive told them they saw someone taking a stove from the vacant property and police said the burglar left the gas on, either intentionally or by accident.
The blast at 5:40 a.m. Saturday shattered the vacant house and started a fire that burned the remains of the home.
"Our window cracked, jumped out of bed, looked outside, our house rumbled like it was an earthquake," neighbor Gina Aguilar said.
Police said it was remarkable no one was injured in the blast.
Investigators said a man was arrested for cultivating marijuana at the house on Aug. 30, and the home has been vacant since then.
Ceres police would like to hear from anyone who may have information on the person seen taking the stove on Friday night.