Fire official: Cadaver dog targets scent at site of Thornton house explosion

One resident unaccounted for

THORNTON, Colo. - A fire official says a cadaver dog targeted a scent at the site of a house explosion in Thornton.

Lisa Wilson with the Thornton Fire Department said the Poudre Fire Authority of Fort Collins brought in a search dog to check the area. 

An earlier report indicated that the dog had found a body, but fire officials corrected their statement to indicate that only a scent was picked up.

Wilson said the Adams County Coroner's Office has been called to the scene.

The Thornton Fire Department had previously said one person was unaccounted for in the rubble of the home that used to stand near the intersection of Cottonwood Lakes Boulevard and Monroe Drive. The neighborhood is near Cottonwood Park, west of Colorado Boulevard.

Very little of the structure remains and the debris is piled atop two cars and an RV. The only recognizable part of the remaining structure appears to be part of a garage.

The siding of a neighboring home was knocked off in the blast, exposing the insulation beneath.

Flying overhead, AIRTRACKER7 and saw pieces of the house -- including mostly-whole sheets of plywood -- that had landed on neighboring buildings.

Neighbors say the boom from the explosion could be heard for miles.

"I immediately hopped my fence, went over and started calling out for anybody -- to see if anybody would respond," said Noah Russell who lives behind the house.

Russell said he and his father grabbed a garden hose and started spraying the fire.

"A dog came out of the flames that was badly burned, so I jumped in and I grabbed him," he said.

"It started off as just black smoke and then a fire that was about 7 feet tall," said neighbor Erin Madigan, who captured the fire on her cell phone.

7NEWS crews at the scene say Xcel Energy has officials at the site assisting police and fire in their investigation.

Residents of nearby homes say they are being kept away as the investigation into the cause of the explosion continues.

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