Marijuana grow-house explosion rocks West Kendall neighborhood

Neighbor says renters rushed to leave scene

Published On: Sep 22 2012 07:23:51 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 24 2012 10:10:51 AM EDT
grow-house
WEST KENDALL, Fla. -

A marijuana grow-house exploded in a West Kendall neighborhood Saturday, police said.

According to authorities, pressure from the explosion caused the walls to expand and the roof to lift off and fall back down.

"I thought it was a bomb or a plane that had landed behind us because our house shook and we felt the rumble," said resident Orlando Martinez, who lives directly behind the grow-house.

Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the explosion, but they said it could be related to chemicals used to grow marijuana.

"There is different types of gases in there, different chemicals inside with illegal electricity. When you put all those elements together it is just a disaster ready to happen," said Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department .

Zabaleta said it is incredible that no one was hurt.

"We are still a little amazed how people were able to walk out," he said.

Martinez said he saw several adults and two young children leave the house immediately after the explosion.

"It's unbelievable. You feel really scared [that] you don't know who is next to you. You don't know who is around you in such a quiet and nice neighborhood. It's really scary," said Orlando Martinez.

Authorities said it is not safe to enter the structure. They said they will reenter Sunday to gather evidence and determine how many marijuana plants were growing inside the house.