GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio — Over a month after a house explosion in Garfield Heights took the lives of three people, the Investigators with the Division of State Fire Marshal's Fire and Explosion Investigation Bureau (FEIB) have an update on the possible cause.
While the cause of the blast hasn't been officially determined, officials believe that the manufacturing of explosives likely caused the incident after authorities found materials to make explosive devices.
The explosion happened on the 4900 block of East 81st Street at around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, and took the lives of 64-year-old Donald Malinowski, 57-year-old Gerald Bateman, and 37-year-old Cassandra Bateman.
On Friday, July 8, Garfield Heights firefighters and insurance company representatives found remains of cardboard tubes in the basement of the home. The tubes located are often used to make explosive devices.
Only a few days later, FEIB investigators say they found more than 30 cardboard tubes in different sizes, along with fuses, equipment and chemicals that are also used to create explosives.
"The materials recovered from the scene are used in the manufacturing of M-series type explosive devices," State Fire Marshal Forensic Lab Bureau Chief Chad Wissinger stated, "which contain higher amounts of explosive powders than what is typically found in consumer-grade fireworks."
According to investigators, the official cause of the explosion will not be released until the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner finishes the final report, but at this time, this is the most probable cause.
"Dominion Energy ran numerous tests and didn't find any evidence of a gas leak anywhere on the property," FEIB Assistant Chief Ray McCarthy said. "Additionally, the Ohio EPA tested the ground for migrating methane gas and found nothing of note. This information, combined with evidence found at the scene and witness testimony leads us to believe manufacturing of explosives is the cause of this explosion."
EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above previously aired on 3News on June 12, 2022, when neighbors caught the aftermath of the home explosion on their Ring Video Doorbell.