Dawson County emergency personnel responded to reports of a house explosion shortly after noon Thursday afternoon.
The house, located on Wildwood Court, off Black's Mill Road in southern Dawson County, was engulfed in flames when emergency personnel arrived on scene.
"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 Tony Wooten with the Dawson County Sheriff's Office.
Local authorities called neighboring Forsyth County for mutual aid to help battle the blaze and make sure the fire didn't spread through the woods to a nearby home.
The family was not home 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 feet home had been up for sale, according to Krattinger.
"They had gone to great links to upgrade the home. 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," he said. "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."
An initial assessment indicated the explosion could have been propane related.
"Right now, they are saying the preliminary cause was possibly from propane gas or a propane gas explosion," Wooten said.
Dawson County Emergency Services Deputy Chief Tim Satterfield said he plans to bring in the state fire marshal's office and HAZMAT team Friday morning to assist with the investigation.
"We found debris from the explosion pretty far out in the back woods," he said.
He said while no one was injured in the blaze, a firefighter on scene was given an I.V. and treated for dehydration.
No other structures were damaged.
Check dawsonnews.com for updates.