Monday, Sep 24, 2018
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Police & Fire

2 residents hurt in Port Clinton house explosion

Witnesses told deputy gas could be smelled for days

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    Emergency and law enforcement respond to a house explosion on the 2600 block of East Harbor Road near Port Clinton.

    THE BLADE/LORI KING
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    Homes burn following an explosion in the 2600 block of East Harbor Road in Port Clinton. Dep­uty Sher­iff Hale said wit­nesses told him peo­ple in the area could smell gas for a few days be­fore the ex­plo­sion.

    JAYSON SIJAN

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    Firefighters clean up debris after a house explosion rocked the 2500 block of East Harbor Road in Port Clinton. This was across the street.

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PORT CLINTON — Two people were injured Friday after a house exploded near Port Clinton.

In all, four people were involved in the explosion. The incident happened at 8:46 a.m. at 2643 East Harbor Rd. near state routes 163 and 53.

Jayson Hale, deputy sheriff of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, said upon his arrival, a married couple, roughly 60 years of age, were pulled out of the debris in the exploded house by Officer Mike Woods of the Catawba Island Township Police Department and Officer Corbin Carpenter of the Port Clinton Police Department.

Another man and woman, who were in a nearby residence that subsequently caught fire, were able to exit the house.

Deputy Sheriff Hale said witnesses told him people in the area could smell gas for a few days before the explosion. He added the residence that exploded had a blue propane gas tank attached to the rear of the structure.

“When they went to light it today it went up,” Deputy Sheriff Hale said.

He said two of the victims were taken to Magruder Hospital in Port Clinton and the other two from the residence that exploded were taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo. All are expected to survive, authorities said. Their names and conditions were not released.

Dolores Grimm, who’s lived in the 2600 block of East Harbor Road for 40 years, said she's never experienced anything like the explosion on her block.

“It’s terrifying because we all have propane gas down through here,” Ms. Grimm said. “That's a worry, but we always have ours checked in the fall and in the spring.”

Stacie Hanthorn, who has lived in the block for 13 years, said the explosion woke her up Friday morning.

“It literally felt like my house came up and slammed back down, everything was knocked off my walls,” Ms. Hanthorn said, adding she also uses propane gas. “It makes me want to have them come in and check all of our lines to make sure it doesn't happen. It’s scary.”

Even a mechanic worker at the nearby Drew's Custom Carts in Port Clinton, Jayson Sijan, ran to the scene.

Mr. Sijan said he was getting ready for the morning at the shop, heard a “phenomenal boom,” and items fell off the walls and windows broke.

“I ran right out of the building as soon as I heard it,” Mr. Sijan said, adding he was trying to call 9-1-1. He said within a matter of five minutes, he noticed the second house caught on fire.

“It was definitely noticeable in the area,” he said.

Deputy Sheriff Hale said the state fire marshal is investigating.

While the deputy sheriff  indicated gas likely caused the explosion, Lindsay Burnworth of the State Fire Marshal’s Office said the exact cause remains under investigation.

Also assisting on scene were Port Clinton police, Danbury Township fire, and Catawba Island Township fire.

Contact Geoff Burns at: gburns@theblade.com or 419-724-6110.

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