A pre-dawn Friday explosion and fire destroyed a Corpus Christi home and seriously injured three people, authorities said.
Fire Capt. James Brown described the victims' injuries as critical and said authorities hoped to speak with them to help try to determine what happened.
The blast occurred about 5:30 a.m. in a neighborhood on the coastal Texas city's south side. Fire officials said most of the roof was gone and the home was ablaze when firefighters arrived. Brown said no one was missing.
"At this point we are very fortunate that the injuries are limited to three victims," Fire Chief Andy Cardiel said. "We still don't know the extent of their injuries but we hope to get more on that later."
Three adjacent homes also had considerable damage, and the blast shattered windows on houses up to three blocks away. Officials subsequently cut off gas and electricity to the area.
"The gas department is checking their lines, their meters and their valves to see if they had any kind of release," Cardiel said. "It's going to be way too early to determine what a cause is at this point.
Mike Obenhaus was eating breakfast with a friend at a nearby restaurant and ran to help.
"The house had exploded, all the walls were down, the roof was already on the ground," he told the Corpus Christi Caller Times. "We saved a little boy, a little girl, a mom and dad. Then the adjacent house started catching fire.
"There was another guy, in the initial fire, laying in the middle of it. We pulled him out. He had cuts all over his body ... It was a pretty bad sight."