Indianapolis woman survives house explosion

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Neighbors helped an Indianapolis woman escape her home after an explosion rocked it.

Indianapolis Fire Department spokeswoman Rita Reith (right) says no one injured in the blast about 5 a.m. Sunday but seven exotic birds died in an ensuing fire.

Reith says neighbors helped pull the only person in the home at the time, 52-year-old Alice Helterbrand, to safety through a hole in a wall after they found her disoriented and trying to exit a locked door.

The one-story, wood-framed house collapsed a short time later. Firefighters estimate the damages at about $140,000 to Helterbrand's home and about $20,000 to homes on either side of hers.

Reith says Helterbrand and her daughter told firefighters the home's furnace had been making strange noises for three days.

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