The reports came in around 3:15 p.m. Wednesday on the unit block of Wayne Avenue.
"I was asleep and I heard this loud boom. I jumped up and asked my granddaughter, 'what was that?' She ran to the window and saw the house down," neighbor Elizabeth Bradley said.
"I was in the kitchen cooking and basically, I felt my entire house shake and all the power went out," neighbor Trashawn Collins said.
The twin homes affected are said to be 46 and 48 Wayne Avenue. The block was evacuated.
One of the homes was vacant; the other was occupied was occupied by 45-year-old William Lewis and his nurse aide.
Neighbors say they were trapped and couldn't get out.
"We saw them clawing at the windows, so a couple guys off the street threw bricks in the window and then there was a tire on the street and they threw the tire, told them to back up, threw the tire through the window and they climbed out the house," neighbor Lashonne Phillips said.
The fire director says it appears the explosion caused by a natural gas leak originated in the rear of the house that was occupied.
William Lewis suffered scrapes and was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released.
An explosion in Paterson, New Jersey on Tuesday destroyed two homes, left 38 residents home, and 10 firefighters suffered minor injuries.