HOUSTON – Broken windows, busted garage doors, and plumes of smoke could be seen from a northwest Houston neighborhood rattled by a large building explosion.
According to area residents, the explosion happened around 4:20 a.m. Friday at Watson Valve Services, which is about half a mile away from their homes on Rockcrest road and Stanford Court.
Nearly every house in the area had extensive damage to their homes, including blown-out windows, damaged garage doors and more.
“(The explosion) knocked us all out of our bed, it was so strong,” said resident Mark Brady. “It busted out every window in our house. It busted everybody’s garage door in around here … and closer toward the explosion over here, it busted people’s roofs in and walls in and we don’t know what it is … It’s a warzone over here.”
Brady said the explosion was extremely loud and he has never experienced anything like it before.
“This is a disaster,” Brady said. “This is a big disaster. I really don’t know what happened … Houston we could use your prayers.”
According to Brady, he went around and checked to make sure people were OK and did not encounter anyone who was injured.
Another area resident, Kim, said she woke up to the roof falling on her.
“The whole house is ruined,” Kim said. “The whole ceiling crashed down on all of us. We were all trapped in there and a nice family came and helped up out. Ut’s trashed. It’s just trashed.”
According to Kim, firefighters told her it was a gas explosion at the business. She said that she and her family have minor injuries.
“Every house was devastated,” Kim said.
The Houston Fire Department shared a tweet that said one person was transported to a hospital. The extent of that person’s injuries are unknown.
Firefighters have asked people in the area to walk away from some of the more heavily damaged homes as the work to asses the damage and determine if the buildings are safe to enter.
According to Meteorologist with the Harris County Flood Control District, Jeff Lindner, the explosion was so strong it was caught on radar.
Spring Branch Independent School District tweeted that it is anticipating transportation delays due to the explosion, but they will be operating under normal hours. They are planning on keeping students inside for the day.
SBISD facilities are fine as of this time, and we plan for a regular school day at all SBISD schools. We anticipate transportation delays.
— Spring Branch ISD (@SBISD) January 24, 2020
Watson Valve Services is located on Gessner Road near Clay Road.
KPRC 2 photographer Cesar Martinez said he is at Gessner and Clay and there is debris all over the place. He said police told him that he cannot get any closer to the explosion because they are anticipating secondary explosions.
According to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, there are increased flames and continuos small explosions at the site. He is urging people to avoid the area.
Authorities said streets in the area are blocked off.
Increases flames and small explosions at plant continue per @houstonpolice airship. Please avoid exposure if at possible until further notice.
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) January 24, 2020
Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.