POLAND TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – A quiet Poland Township neighborhood was shaken by an early morning house explosion that left one person dead and the house a total loss.
Neighbors awoke to see the house in flames, frightened by the loud boom early Monday morning. In the pre-dawn darkness, the raging fire could be seen through the trees around 5:45 a.m.
“Like, it was crazy. You could see the smoke bezzling out and just covering everything,” said neighbor Seth Meredith.
The home is in the 4000 block of Arrel Road, just off state Route 170.
“I’m laying in bed and out of nowhere I just hear this boom! I rush upstairs and I look out the window and just flames,” Meredith said.
Just as quickly, callers were phoning 911.
Dispatcher: “Can you see what part of the house is on fire?”
Caller: “The whole, the back half, and then a big explosion, and now the whole house is on fire.”
Dispatcher: “You heard an explosion?”
Neighbors say the blast shook their homes, and almost immediately, they could see flames shooting up above the trees surrounding the house.
Crews from at least eight departments rushed to the scene. It took an hour to douse the flames.
“This, unfortunately, is a fatality fire. We did find a body in the fire debris,” said Western Reserve Fire District Chief David Comstock.
Within hours, a team of investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office was on the scene, going through what was left of the house with local investigators.
Although the coroner has not yet identified the victim, authorities believe it’s a woman. The remains of two dogs were also recovered.
“Given the significance of the, or the extent of the fire damage, it may be very difficult to find an ultimate cause,” Chief Comstock said.
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Court records show the people listed as living there were to have been evicted as of Monday, Sept. 18. No rent had been paid since April.
As Dominion Energy crews were checking gas lines in the area, neighbors were left wondering what could have caused all of this.