DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton Fire Investigators have confirmed that gas was turned off to the house that exploded earlier this week, but there are many questions they are trying to answer before they can determine an official cause, and are hoping information from the public will help.
All that is left of the house is a pile of rubble on George St. after an early morning demolition Friday.
It exploded and caught fire Thursday morning, and fire investigators are trying to piece together what led to flames shooting out of the house.
“We know that the gas was turned off to the house the day before,” said Scott Jacobs, Dayton Fire inspector. “We know when fire crews arrived on scene that the gas was no longer shut off and locked and the gas was turned on. We know from witnesses that they could smell gas inside the property, that they were actually possibly becoming ill.”
The initial 911 call Thursday morning said the explosion happened when a man was trying to light a pilot light on a water heater, but Dayton fire inspector Scott Jacobs said an exact cause and origin is still unknown.
“We haven’t ruled anything out, we are still actively working with all of the witnesses and the stories and what’s left of the property to try and ascertain what exactly happened,” said Jacobs.
They also are still trying to figure out who and how many people were inside the house at the time of the explosion, and if they were there legally or not.
“We’ve heard a lot, from there could have been nobody inside the house to up to 20 people,” said Jacobs.
He added until they know more, they cannot determine if any criminal activity took place.
They are actively searching for any witnesses, possible surveillance camera footage, or anyone who may have heard why the gas meter was tampered with.
If you have any information, you can leave an anonymous tip by calling (937) 333 -TIPS.