A late-nigh explosion triggered a massive inferno in the town of Exeter, California, wiping out an entire neighborhood and claiming three lives.
The residents of Brookview Lane were rocked by the explosion at approximately 10 pm. Most managed to escape their homes, although many suffered injuries ranging from ruptured eardrums to burns and smoke inhalation.
Sheriff’s Deputy Warren Navarro said it was too early to identify the cause of the explosion. He admitted that forensics crews had failed to find any obvious signs of arson.
“We thought it might have been an improvised explosive, like a car bomb,” Navarro told a group of reporters. “However, our team has not yet identified a blast crater. That being said, we are still pursuing all possible avenues of investigation, which includes a deliberate bombing.”
A more bizarre theory has surfaced online following the comments of several eyewitnesses who were walking their dogs just before the explosion.
George E. Hale, a resident of Brookview Lane for twelve years, described seeing a “black-furred dragon” swoop over the neighborhood and “spit out a huge stream of fire.”
“The thing was at least nine-feet tall,” said Hale. “It had these big bat wings and long, jagged antlers coming out of its head, which reminded me almost of a horse, or a ram. I remember seeing cloven hooves and a forked tail.”
As incredible as it seems, Hale’s story was backed up by the other witnesses.
Although Deputy Navarro would not comment on the alleged dragon sighting, paranormal enthusiasts have pointed out the startling similarities between the Brookview dragon and the Jersey Devil.
According to local folklore, the vast forests known as the Pine Barrens in southern New Jersey are home to a terrifying, nine-foot-tall monster with bat-like wings and a horse-shaped head.
Dwight Renfield, a Senior Research Fellow for the Assembly of Skeptical Investigations, was quick to dismiss the paranormal cause.
“This looks very much like a simple gas leak,” said Renfield. “If the Fire Marshall determines the presence of a leak, that would also explain this so-called dragon. It’s nothing more than a vivid hallucination brought on by the gas. Mr. Hale thought he saw a monster. When he told the other witnesses, they assimilated the image and convinced themselves they too had seen a monster.”
The investigation is ongoing.
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