Residents in Columbia, Maryland, were awakened by a large boom on Sunday morning. 

Around 8 a.m. on Sunday, August 25, residents all around Howard County went on social media trying to determine the cause to a large boom. The explosion at an office park off Stanton Blvd. and Dobbin Road was felt all over the county, from Jessup to Fulton. The blast leveled the front of an office building, destroying and displacing more than 20 businesses. No one was injured in the explosion. and Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue believes the cause was a natural gas leak in the parking lot.

Around 7 a.m. on Sunday morning, Howard County Fires crews responded to a fire alarm call at the 8800 block of Stanford Blvd. Once on scene, the fire department realized there was a gas leak in the parking lot and began to evacuate the area. The fire department also called Baltimore Gas and Electric to the scene. The explosion hit inside the building at about 7:50 a.m., nearly leveling it and causing damage to buildings nearby. 

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball thanked first responders for their quick action on a Sunday morning.

“I am appreciative for the quick and professional response by crews from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services and the Howard County Police Department,” said Howard County executive Calvin Ball. “Fortunately, because of their actions and because this happened on a Sunday morning when no one was inside the building, there are no reported injuries at this time.

The area has been blocked off, and BGE has ceased natural gas service in the area. Once investigators believe the site is safe, they will conduct a full investigation into the cause of the gas explosion.

Officials want to remind the public of the dangers of a natural gas leak. If you smell gas, leave the area and call BGE at (877) 778-7798. An emergency response team is available 24 hours, seven days a week.

Did you hear the explosion? Are you impacted by the damage to businesses? Tell us in the comments!