An explosion that quickly led to a house fire last week on Wildwood Court in southern Dawson County remains under investigation by state and local fire officials.
Dawson County Emergency Services Deputy Chief Tim Satterfield said officials with the state fire marshal's office and hazardous materials team were on the scene Friday morning to assist with the investigation.
He said the initial assessment indicated the explosion could have been propane related.
"We found debris from the explosion pretty far out in the back woods," he said. "We're continuing to investigate."
Emergency personnel responded to reports of a house explosion shortly after noon Thursday.
The house off Black's Mill Road was engulfed in flames when emergency personnel arrived.
"We got a call from a neighbor that said he'd heard an explosion. He knew it was in close proximity to his house, looked out his window and saw part of the neighbor's house gone from the explosion," said Dawson County Sheriff's Capt. Tony Wooten.
Local authorities called neighboring Forsyth County to help battle the blaze and ensure the fire didn't spread through the woods to a nearby home.
The family was not there at the time of the blast, but arrived a short time later after receiving a call from a neighbor.
"I heard the explosion but didn't think much of it, because we burn wood around here and fire guns sometimes," said neighbor Kurt Krattinger. "Their house is a total loss and everything they own is gone, but the beauty of it is that [the owners] and son were not at home. I did try to calm her as much as possible by letting her know that the blessing is that no one was at home."
The nearly 4,000-square-foot home had been up for sale, according to Krattinger.
"They had gone to great lengths to upgrade the home," he said. "They had been packing things up in the house, so a lot of their best belongings were in boxes in the garage and ready to go.
"They lost everything except a car and a cellphone. She said to me that some things that her dad had built for her were in the house."
Satterfield said while no one was injured in the blaze, a firefighter on scene was given an IV and treated for dehydration.
No other structures were damaged.