BAY -- An elderly Bay woman appears to have escaped injury after her house exploded Tuesday night.

About 10 p.m. at 5304 Ga. Hwy. 37 W., Pauline Arnett had already gone to bed, when the other side of her house exploded, Bay Volunteer Fire Department Chief Chuck Scarborough said.

"I think the good Lord had his hands over her myself," Scarborough, also a pastor, said.

Just before the explosion, the chief and other volunteers happened to be coming out of the fire station near Arnett's house. Firefighters saw a large fireball over the house, reports said.

The volunteers rushed to the house and got Arnett to safety before extinguishing a small fire in a closet, he said. The crew used only about 20 gallons at the scene, Scarborough said.

Arnett's bedroom is in another part of the two-gable house. The eastern gable was demolished, Scarborough said.

The cause appears to have been a gas leak but the source of ignition is yet undetermined, the chief said.

Arnett was examined at the hospital and is staying with family, he said.

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