A home explosion closed the Sterling Highway Thursday evening near mile 166 just north of Diamond Ridge Road. The Sterling Highway remained closed until the early morning hours Friday, blocking access to and from Homer.
The blast shook the rural neighborhood shortly after 10:00 p.m. and sent debris flying hundreds of feet away. Several area residents and drivers reported the explosion and debris on the road shortly after.
According to an Alaska State Troopers dispatch, troopers responded minutes after the blast and says several neighbors have reported damage on their properties. A seismometer about three miles was even able to record the vibrations from the incident.
Responders said no one was home at the time and no injuries were reported.
“First units on scene found the house is completely leveled,” Kachemak Emergency Services Chief Bob Cicciarella explained while on the scene. “There’s debris scattered significantly and the treetops were taken out along the side of the highway here.”
Troopers believe a gas explosion caused the incident, but Cicciarella said the cause of the blast is under investigation.
“This is going to be really hard because there’s so much debris scattered everywhere,” he said. “It could take as much as a week or it could take longer than that to get an idea of what’s going on.”
Both Homer and Anchor Point volunteer fire departments responded as well. Homer Electric Association and Enstar Natural Gas staff were also on scene to shut off the gas line to the home and inspect infrastructure in the area.
Authorities notified Julie Page and her husband, who own the home, about the explosion over the phone. Page says both her and her husband are in Colorado visiting family. She says whether they will rebuild is unclear.