Gas explosion rocks National City city apartment complex - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Gas explosion rocks National City city apartment complex

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - An explosion on Monday damaged an unoccupied city apartment complex in National City - leaving residents in the area rattled. 

One witness told CBS News 8 it felt like and earthquake and then a hail storm in the form of shattered glass and debris. 

The natural gas explosion lifted and shifted the complex's roof, blew the windows out and left dry wall dangling on the inside. 

The National City Fire Department believes the natural gas leaked when construction crews moved the water heaters from the attic to outside - causing the gas to pressurize.

"We just heard that boom and the house shook. The windows shook - everything shook," said Daniel Desiga.

Building inspectors on site said the explosion caused the walls to bow, and the ceiling to almost collapse. The water lines were also ruptured - creating a pool of water on the second floor.

"You just saw smoke billowing out and the water spraying everywhere," a witness told CBS News 8.

The fire department said had they arrived any later it could have been disastrous.

"We are lucky. It could have been a lot worse," said Captain Mike Shoemaker, with the National City Fire Department.

National City Mayor Ron Morrison live two blocks away from where the explosion took happen.

"I happen to be away from home and I got a call from my family that the whole house shook," he said.

According to the fire department, the estimated cost of damages is at least $100,000.

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