Monday, August 22, 2011

Fatal Overnight Fire/Explosion

Last night around midnight, a couple of local residents lost their lives in a fatal fire and mysterious explosion.

According to reports, the 33-year-old resident had an 18-year-old neighbor friend come up to help him move some furniture, or something off a truck into a garage/workshop behind the man's house.

What happened next really isn't clear; some reports say the explosion happened first, however, the fire dept. had already been called, and the first truck was in route when the explosion happened.

My son was listening to his scanner and he heard a firefighter arriving at the first-in station to pick up a truck report that he could see the flames from there.  He got the truck and was in route when he witnessed the explosion happen.

“It’s a mystery,” Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd said. “We’re baffled. Usually when there’s an explosion like this, it sucks all the oxygen out and there’s no fire. This was a big explosion and a big fire.”

Dodd said the initial blast blew out the walls of the building, and then the roof came down.
“It threw debris approximately 100 yards, so it was a massive explosion,” Dodd said.

 “We’ve not been able to find any reason for the explosion,” the chief said late Monday morning.
“Right now, we have a backhoe up here digging through the debris,” Dodd said. “We do know there were no liquids in there, nothing flammable (did he mean combustible?), no propane, no natural gas, so it’s just kind of a mystery to us right now.”
Dodd said the family had antiques, clothing and other assorted items stored in the out building.'

'The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent an investigator to help, because of the explosion. However, after hours of shifting through the debris with the help of a backhoe, investigators still had found no reason for the explosion.
“The ATF guy is baffled too,” Dodd said.

Asked if investigators had found anything to suggest that illegal drug activity, such as the manufacture of methamphetamine, might have caused the explosion, Dodd said, “we have not been able to rule it out, but the information that we’ve gathered from witnesses and family members does not lead us to believe that at this point.”

Ref: Read more: The Fish Wrap - Police and fire officials still searching for clues about fire

*Me: In this County, my first guess was meth-making, but I don't know these people or anything about them and wouldn't want to make any judgements because I wouldn't want people to make judgements like that about me.
It's just such a really strange thing - buildings don't just explode for no reason.

Other than the "Hmm" factor, the reason I was interested in this incident is because, had he not supposed to have had Class this morning, my son would have gone on this call, with his new station. (More about that later.)
He wouldn't've been anywhere near the first in, so no worries about him nearly getting exploded like that first firefighter...who was the Chief of that station.


Trina said...

WOW - the picture blow your mind away. Loss of life is always tragic. Meth labs are definitely making it more dangerous for our departments.

Melissa said...

Yeah, it was a real doozy of an explosion. Never have heard any official ruling what caused it, but local rumor has it might have been something to do with homemaking fireworks.

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