ORWELL TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Fire investigators say the house explosion in Orwell Township it not a crime scene. They say the cause is likely from natural gas. The question is -- how did it get there?
All that is left standing of the house is the brick chimney. Everything else is scattered around the yard. Some debris is even up in the trees.
"We were sitting watching TV and the walls just shook real bad so I looked out and didn't see anything I didn't know nothing until I saw the news," said resident Jim Kieran. He is one of many neighbors who drove by to see the damage.
Fire investigators say the debris field is so extensive that it suggests a build up of gas, possibly naturally occurring pockets of gas, which are common in the area.
Investigators dug up a pump from the water well descending 125 feet below ground.
"Some gas may have been going in there, just natural pockets in the ground. But we haven't been able to confirm that yet," said Bob Sharp, Assistant Chief with the State Fire Marshall's office.
Even though investigators say this is an isolated incident, a nearby neighbor told the fire department that she smelled gas while showering that night. Others told WKYC that the faint smell of gas is common.
"I've been hearing some people on this road, a couple of friends, saying they've been smelling gas for a couple of weeks. Then I heard about this and I was like, OK, this must be pretty bad," said resident Cody Carver.
While the investigation continues, the well is being ventilated and special equipment will soon arrive to help determine a cause.
Neighbors say there is some drilling in the county for gas and oil. They wonder if it's close enough to have an impact in Orwell.
Investigators hope to have a cause determined by Friday afternoon.
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