Four homes have been destroyed in natural gas explosions or fire following a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in southern Alaska. Kenai (KEY’-nigh) Fire Department battalion chief Tony Prior says explosions from a natural gas leak destroyed two of the homes. The other two were fully engulfed in flames by the time firefighters determined it was safe enough from gas for them to enter. The fire department focused on keeping the fires in these two homes from spreading to nearby houses.

Prior says there were no injuries. He says the second house explosion was major, and they are fortunate no one was hurt in that one. About 30 homes total were evacuated in the Kenai neighborhood. Some people are staying at a shelter at the Kenai National Guard Armory. Workers with the gas utility are examining the remaining homes to determine if the earthquake severed gas lines to the homes and are establishing temporary lines with the hope displaced residents can get back home today. FULL REPORT