COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WJW) — A man’s body was found inside a home that exploded in the township Thursday afternoon, officials confirmed.
Officials are now working to confirm the man’s identity.
“We’re still under investigation with exactly what happened, what caused everything,” township Fire Chief Adam Rockich told reporters later Thursday.
The blast happened in the 400 block of Long Lake Boulevard, in the Portage Lakes neighborhood just south of Akron. Two other homes on either side of the house were damaged by the blast.
The initial investigation suggests it wasn’t caused by gas leak, Rockich said. Dominion Energy workers tested the natural gas main at the home and didn’t find a leak, he said. Gas lines were also shut off at nearby homes, he said.
One resident was not home at the time of the blast, Rockich said. Another was transported to a hospital for minor injuries.
Coventry firefighters started receiving calls just after 3 p.m., Rockich said.
“We had people streets away calling for it. We felt the blast at our station, which is about a half-mile away,” he said. “There’s debris streets away.”
Watch footage from the scene Thursday afternoon in the player below:
Neighbors streets away have been collecting debris that scattered after the blast — much of it personal items like photographs, Rockich said. Anyone who collects those belongings can return them to the residents by dropping them off at the fire station, 68 Portage Lakes Drive, or at the sheriff’s division office behind the fire station.
Rockich recommended homeowners nearby whose houses took damage after the blast should file claims through their insurance companies.
At the scene Thursday evening were the state fire marshal; the Summit County Sheriff’s Office’s crime scene investigation unit; Summit County’s fire investigation unit; and the county bomb squad, among other agents.
“A blast like this is extremely difficult to try to do an investigation on,” Rockich said. “That’s why we rely on our teams and partners in place.”