House explosion leaves one dead and a neighborhood shaken - Lima, OH News Weather Sports

House explosion leaves one dead and a neighborhood shaken

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At 8:26 Thursday morning the first call came into the Allen County Sheriff’s Office. A house on N. Phillips Rd. in Lafayette had exploded. The explosion shook the neighborhood prompting 12-15 more calls to the sheriff’s office. The explosion caused one fatality, the elderly woman that lived in that home.

"The Allen County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 8:26 this morning for a home explosion," said Chief Brent Bassitt of Lafayette-Jackson Township Fire Department. "When we arrived this is obviously what we found. We found some fire in the basement of the home which firefighters began extinguishing right away. The fire was under control shortly after."

According to the Allen County Auditor’s website, the home belonged to Gladys Ward. Earlier this year, Ward's husband died at the same residence when a brush fire got out of control.

"It is a small community here, Lafayette-Jackson Township, so everybody knows everybody," Bassitt said. "So it’s going to take a lot of time."

A neighbor of the 2240 N. Phillips residence told me when he came outside after the explosion, he saw debris falling from the sky. His next instinct was to search through the wreckage for the missing homeowner.

The home across the street suffered significant damage as well.

"It’s just a miracle for them to be alive," said Al Elmore of Lima Baptist Church, pastor for Ward's family. "It blew out all the windows. Went through (and) blew out sheetrock, knocked shelves off walls, took deadbolts out of the door. The wife was sitting in the recliner, it was a miracle she’s alive. With all the shrapnel, all the glass."

The state fire marshals were called in to investigate the cause of the explosion.

"This is something you can’t make up," Elmore said. "I can’t fathom it, I really can’t. I’ve been around many years, I’ve seen a lot of things, but I know this is very devastating."