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Published: Wednesday, 5/7/2008

North Toledo house explodes, burns to the ground


An unoccupied North Toledo house under renovation was destroyed by a fire authorities believe was caused by a natural gas explosion in the basement early Wednesday, authorities said.

There were no injuries, according to the Toledo Fire Department.

Fire crews arrived about 2 a.m. and found the two-story wood frame house at 1108 East Manhattan Blvd. near Cecelia Avenue fully engulfed in flames, Battalion Chief Bill Hickey said.

Firefighters had the blaze under control by about 3:30 a.m., by which time it was a complete loss.

Chief Hickey believed the fire had started from a natural gas explosion in the basement. Damage was estimated at $40,000, he said.

The Lucas County Auditor s Web site lists the owner of the 1917 house as Berlyn J. Lawrence.

City workers razed the building by about 6 a.m., the battalion chief said.

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