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One victim identified in Tuesday house explosion PDF Print E-mail
Written by By PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 09:37
LUCKEY — One man killed in a Tuesday home explosion has been identified by the Lucas County Coroner’s Office.
The office reports that Andrew Schulte, 37, died Tuesday after being taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center. A cause of death is pending.
The identification of a woman’s body found beneath the rubble at the scene is pending with the Wood County Coroner’s Office.
A propane leak is believed to be the cause of the explosion that leveled the home at 23415 Stony Ridge Road, which hospitalized three other people.
“It appears that the explosion was a result of a liquid propane leak, and it is unknown as to what sparked the explosion, however foul play is not suspected,” said Troy Township Fire Chief Randy Woodruff in a press release.
The blast was reported just after 5 a.m. at the single-story house. The home is listed on the Wood County Auditor’s website as being owned by James and Jahn Richards. An Associated Press report indicated that two of the couple’s sons and the fiancee of one of the sons additionally lived in the home.
“Initially four victims were found outside the residence,” said Capt. Scott Frank of the Wood County Sheriff’s Office. “They were transported by squads and two Life Flights or two medical helicopters.”
The woman’s body was found in the rubble just before 11 a.m., and was taken to the Lucas County Coroner’s Office for positive identification.
One man identified by online records as a resident in the home, Nicholas Schulte, 34, was listed at St. Vincent’s, this morning. An operator there was unable to provide a status for him.
Initial 911 calls regarding the incident reported it as a house fire. More than 45 firefighters from Troy Township, Pemberville-Freedom Township, and Lake Township departments responded. The AP indicated that debris from the blast were scattered up to a quarter-mile away.
“I have been in the fire service 22 years, and I have not seen destruction like this,” said Brad Gilbert, Wood County Emergency Management Director, just after he arrived at the scene Tuesday.
Michael Duchesne, with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, said this morning that the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation utilized equipment to map the debris field at the scene. However, he was unable to state where the individuals were located in the home at the time of the blast, saying that the investigation is in its early stages.
More than two hours after the initial report, fire personnel were working to put out hot spots in the flaming rubble to facilitate a search.
One neighbor, Jan Irsak, who lives across the street from the scene, reported that the blast woke her up and blew items off of her walls. She also described neighbors pulling the Richards’ sons from the burning wreckage.
“The man of the house (James Richards) was yelling for help, and everything, and calling out for his wife,” she said.
Irsak said that no damage was done to her home.
A joint investigation at the scene was conducted, involving representatives of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Sheriff’s Office.
Calls placed with Troy Township Fire seeking additional information were not immediately returned this morning.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 September 2013 10:13

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