Authorities say Dayton blast 'suspicious'

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities are calling "suspicious" a natural gas explosion that leveled a vacant home and damaged 48 nearby structures in Dayton.

Ohio-Home-Explosion Sidd

An estimated 30 homes were damaged when a house exploded in the 500 block of Brooklyn Avenue in Dayton, Ohio, Monday, April 21, 2014. There was a faint smell of natural gas in the area that residents had been smelling for a few days, but the cause remains under investigation. (AP Photo/The Dayton Daily News, Marshall Gorby)

Assistant Fire Chief Michael Caudill says investigators aren't sure what would have caused the gas to ignite. One possible explanation is that inexperienced metal scrappers were taking pipes out of the home. But he says that is only speculation at this point.

The Dayton Daily News ( ) reports that the blast Monday caused several minor injuries, shattered windows and caused structural damage to some homes in the southwest Ohio city's west side. Federal and state investigators have been helping local authorities.

One neighbor says he smelled gas five to 10 minutes before the explosion, which he says sounded like war had broken out.