A big blast coming from somewhere nearby shook our house late last night. The sound wasn’t maybe as loud as Krakatoa, but it was plenty loud – it tumbled Les UDs out of bed and into their coats.

Flashlights in hand, they checked to see whether an enormous tree had fallen on their roof. But it didn’t sound like a treefall, said UD. Sounded more … complicated than a treefall…

Garrett Park neighbors emerged, like us, from their houses, saying to one another What happened? What just happened?


This morning, it’s all over the news. Right across the train tracks from us, in a neighborhood called Randolph Hills, a house exploded. There’s nothing left but a pile of bricks.

[M]any people throughout the upper Bethesda and Kensington areas, which are both several miles away, called 911 to report hearing and feeling the explosion.


Karen Burkett, a real estate agent with Re/Max, told Bethesda Beat Friday morning that the house was scheduled to be for sale at a public auction at the courthouse in Rockville at 3:30 p.m. today.

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9 Responses to “Even as we speak, UD can hear the engines of the clean-up equipment and the news helicopters.”

  1. Alan Allport Says:

    The article says it’s not believed to have been utilities-related. But other than a bomb or a meth lab gone awry, what else can it have been

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Alan: I vote meth lab.

  3. dmf Says:

    messy divorce?

  4. Bernard Carroll Says:

    There was a big fire in Raleigh last night, too. With Trumpean inference we might guess the Russians are coming.

  5. JackOH Says:

    The article mentions unauthorized use of gas after a shut-off. Suicide, then accidental ignition?

  6. theresa defino Says:

    The homeowner was found dead w/a self-inflicted gun shot wound; apparently also killed his dog. No word yet on why house exploded. Spark from gun on illegally tapped gas?


  7. Margaret Soltan Says:

    theresa: Or could he have waited until there was sufficient gas, lit a match, and had time to toss it and then do the shooting?

  8. theprofessor Says:

    The gas would explode immediately if it was at the right gas-air concentration. He would not have had time to light a match and then shoot himself. He probably made some kind of incendiary device set to go off some time after he shot himself, but the evidence may be hard to find.

    I remember when I was a teen that one of those mini-banks in mall parking lots blew up because of a gas leak. Some customers after hours reported a gas smell in the lot; the bank manager came in, unlocked the door, and turned on the lights–the last thing he ever did. The fire department theorized that there had been a spark in the light switch, but they could not prove it. The whole building was obliterated; only the bank vault was left standing.

  9. Margaret Soltan Says:

    tp: Yes, I thought it was pretty unlikely that he’d have time to toss the match — I hadn’t thought, however, about the incendiary device idea. Apparently the guy was something of a handyman, so he might well have been able to do this.

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