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Explosion destroys guest house east of Santa Fe

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A guest house located off Old Las Vegas Highway east of Santa Fe was destroyed in an explosion late Monday night. The house on the same lot and at least one other, nearby house also were damaged. No one was hurt. (Courtesy KOAT)

SANTA FE – A large explosion that could be heard over a huge swath of Santa Fe late Monday night destroyed a guest house, damaged the occupied home on the same lot and also caused significant damage to at least one neighbor’s house off Old Las Vegas Highway.

“It felt like an airplane was hitting our house in the middle of the night,” said Ilse Bolle, who lives next door to where the blast took place about 11 p.m. “It was unbelievable.”

Residents reporting online from the Eldorado subdivision eight miles east of Santa Fe to Yucca Street in the center of the town heard the boom.

The owner of the property where the explosion and subsequent fire took place on Cibola Circle, south of El Gancho fitness club on Old Las Vegas Highway, told the sheriff’s office that it may have been caused by a propane tank, according to sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios.

James “Buck” Buchanan, the owner, had no comment when contacted by phone and referred a reporter to agencies investigating the explosion.

Deswood Tome, spokesman for the state Fire Marshal’s Office, said the owners were at home and asleep when the unoccupied guest house blew up. The cause of the explosion was unknown as of Tuesday afternoon and remained under investigation, Tome said. No one was injured.

“Basically, there was a substantial amount of debris strewn across the area,” said Rios of the sheriff’s office. “Some neighborhood homes were damaged from the debris.”

Bolle said her house next door has cracks in ceilings and walls and one wall that shifted out an inch. “We have debris in all the trees,” she said. “I think that was a blessing. Otherwise, it would have hit the house.”

She said she was thankful no one was hurt, including her neighbors Buck and Sherry Buchanan. “They have a lot to deal with,” Bolle said.

She said she was awake when the blast hit her two-story house. “The whole house was shaking” and items flew off shelves, she said. Flames could be seen from the fire that came after the explosion.

On the Nextdoor website, residents chimed in late Monday and Tuesday about the explosion.

“Pieces of insulation were blown from the explosion over to our house ¼ mile away,” posted a Sunlit Hills resident.

“OMG, we are at the end of Avenue Vista Grande by the state land in Eldorado … many, many miles away and it shook the whole house and scared us!” said another message.

“We heard and felt it at home in Via Caballero near Rodeo & Yucca,” said another. “It’s pretty scary not knowing what it could have been.”

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