Gas Blast: Natural Gas Culprit Behind Destructive Concord Township House Explosion

After explosion
After explosion

Posted by Web Staff - email | Facebook | Twitter

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, OH (WOIO) - The investigation into what caused a massive house explosion in Concord Township is nearly complete. The Concord Township Fire Chief told 19 Action News the blast was caused by natural gas, but they are still trying to determine what exactly touched off the explosion.

"We want to get to the bottom of this and find out what happened," said Chief Mike Warner. "Sunday night, when we finished up, we did the mapping of this area for all the debris. It affected more than a dozen homes. We're finding out we probably picked up another seven or eight homes that were damaged. So those people have a lot invested."

The blast leveled the Morley Road home just after 8AM Sunday morning. According to the Lake County's Auditor website, the home was worth nearly $500,000 and was just built in 2004 by Michael and Kathy Jelenic.

Luckily, Kathy Jelenic was vacationing in Las Vegas with the couple's two daughters while her husband was in Indiana at Notre Dame with their son for a baseball tournament.

During a Monday morning news conference, the chief says the damage to the neighboring home is so severe, it might also have to be torn down. A dozen other homes within a half-mile radius were also damaged in the blast.

The big guns out in full force on Monday. The State Fire Marshal, ATF, fire crews and Dominion on hand. Two dogs were brought in to try to pinpoint exactly what happened.

"The dogs are going to rule out any suspicion of any combustible materials or accelerant's or anything that could have been used to cause a problem," said Chief Mike Warner.

"It's going to be a long process," Warner added.

Fire investigators have asked for 19 Action News' exclusive chopper video from high above the explosion to aid their investigation. Dominion East Ohio Gas officials scoured the site on Sunday, and said there were no leaks and everything was working properly in the area.

Donations for the Jelenic family can be mailed by check or taken to US Bank at 9572 Mentor Avenue in Mentor. The checks can be made out to the Jelenic Fund. Gift cards can be dropped off to the Keller Williams office located at 7400 Center Street in Mentor.

Copyright 2010 WOIO. All rights reserved.