2 dead following fire, explosion at suburban Detroit home

AP News
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Posted: Jun 29, 2017 9:02 AM

ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Two people have died and a third escaped serious injury following an explosion and fire that destroyed a home in suburban Detroit, authorities said Thursday.

Crews responded about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday to the home in Oakland County's Orion Township and faced flames 30 to 40 feet (9 to 12 meters) high, the Orion Township Fire Department said. One body was found during a search and the second body was found after crews used an excavator in the rubble.

Firefighters from several area departments assisted at the scene, hauling in water via tanker trunks because the nearest fire hydrant was about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the home.

The man and woman who died are believed to be a couple that lived at the home, the department said. Their 29-year-old daughter, who was out of the house by the time firefighters arrived, escaped serious injury.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation and the department said it could be several days before the cause is determined. Fire Chief Robert Smith told reporters that the home had a propane tank, but it was off at the time. He said arson wasn't suspected.

The Oakland County sheriff's department fire investigation unit is assisting in the investigation. Undersheriff Mike McCabe said in an email that the man who died was remodeling the home and also had used the home's basement to reload ammunition.

Firefighters from several area departments assisted at the scene, hauling in water via tanker trunks because the nearest fire hydrant was about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the home.