Ohio home explosion kills woman, injures man; cause sought

July 10, 2021 GMT

NEW HOLLAND, Ohio (AP) — An explosion destroyed an Ohio home over the weekend, killing a woman and injured her husband, authorities said.

The Fayette County sheriff’s office said the blast in New Holland was reported at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Arriving firefighters found “the remains of a structure” engulfed in flames “and a debris field surrounding the perimeter that was consistent with an explosion,” the sheriff’s office said.

One of the two occupants was found and flown to a trauma center while the second occupant was unaccounted for, authorities said. Fire crews worked to extinguish the blaze, and the second occupant was found in the debris at about 10 a.m. Saturday and pronounced dead by a deputy coroner, authorities said.

The sheriff’s office late Saturday afternoon identified the person killed as 70-year-old Patricia Miller. Her 71-year-old husband was airlifted to a Columbus area trauma center, where his condition wasn’t immediately available. No other injuries were reported.

Members of the Pic-A-Fay Fire Department, sheriff’s investigators, and the state fire marshal’s office are trying to determine the cause of the explosion, authorities said.

Cody Kirkpatrick told WBNS-TV that he had left for work when his wife called him about the explosion. He said he saw heavy smoke as he was heading back home moments after the phone call.

Kirkpatrick said he has been a neighbor of the man and woman since 1988.

“They are very good people,” he said. “My thoughts and prayers go out to them.”