Chief: 1 dead, 2 missing after Flint home explosion, fire

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — At least one person died and two remained missing following a fire and explosion at a home in Michigan that damaged several adjacent homes and sent debris falling onto a neighborhood, authorities said.

Fire Department Battalion Chief Ramsey Clapper told MLive-The Flint Journal that one person was confirmed dead following Monday night’s fire and explosion. He said two people were missing, but one of them may have been found safe.

Two additional people were hospitalized, although the extent of their injuries and conditions were unclear Tuesday morning.

Three houses sustained major damage and were fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the scene Monday night. Clapper said around 20 houses sustained damage, including broken windows from debris thrown across an entire block by the explosion, which was felt miles away.

Most of the flames had been extinguished by late Monday. The cause was under investigation. Television footage showed the neighborhood littered with splintered wood and other debris.

Aisha Lott, who lives nearby, said she felt an explosion and the blast rocked her house.

“It was like a really loud boom, and my house shook,” she told WJRT-TV.

Consumers Energy spokesman Brian Wheeler said the utility received a call about 9:40 p.m. Monday about the house explosion and crews sent to the scene shut off natural gas and electric service to a total of seven homes, including three that he said were destroyed by the blast.

Wheeler said Tuesday morning the utility had found no evidence of gas leaks or other issues with Consumers Energy’s gas system that runs to the house that exploded. He said the utility is working with local authorities to investigate the explosion.

“Our thoughts this morning go to the residents of this neighborhood and their loved ones,” the utility said in a statement.