Two Alameda County sheriff's deputies were injured Tuesday morning when a West Oakland home exploded as they served an eviction, authorities said.
The deputies were standing outside a triplex in an old part of West Oakland off 14th and Peralta streets about 11 a.m. when the blast occurred, Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.
The deputies had gone to evict a resident who lived in a home in the rear of the building. When they knocked on the door, no one answered, Nelson said. As part of a standard eviction service, the deputies had a locksmith standing by for such a situation.
As the locksmith began to drill into the lock, there was an explosion and the wall nearest the deputies blasted out, Nelson said. The explosion injured the deputies and locksmith and started a fire. All three men were taken to a local hospital but suffered only minor injuries, Nelson said.
Back at the home, authorities found a badly burned body inside. The body was burned so extensively that deputies couldn't determine the person's sex, or whether it was the person they had sought to evict, Nelson said.
"The coroner will definitely have more to say about that," he said.
Sheriff's officials are still trying to determine if the person died before the explosion or possibly died after triggering it.
"That's the million-dollar question," Nelson said.