The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

January 7, 2013

Blast levels home

Madison neighbors thankful that nobody was hurt

MADISON TOWNSHIP — Janet Sency tried to stay warm  while marveling that nobody in her family was hurt when the house next door exploded early Sunday morning.

Sency was wrapped in a blanket while looking at the remnants of 1518 Parkview Place from behind yellow caution tape after the blast that rocked the neighborhood and sent flames into the sky.

“It woke me out of bed. My husband and I. I thought somebody hit the house,” she said while standing with other neighbors. She said her husband ran outside and found the adjacent home had exploded at 12:20 a.m.

Sency shed a few tears as she discussed how her son and granddaughter were sleeping in a room very close to the wall that was struck by debris from the explosion.

While one home was destroyed and seven or eight damaged, nobody was hurt.

“We were very lucky,” Sency said.

The unoccupied home was destroyed, with the four walls falling in toward the center of the structure. The Sency home was badly damaged and five or six other homes were damaged to a lesser degree, said Gene Lutz, chief of the Madison Fire District.

“We received a call for a house explosion at 12:21,” Lutz said. He said the house was already on the ground with a small fire burning when they arrived.

Jessica Seybert lives just across the street from the destroyed house. She said she was asleep and disoriented when she heard the blast.

“I thought it was an earthquake,” she said. “It woke me up from a dead sleep and it felt like a freight train was going by.”

Jim Barchok owns the house behind 1518 Parkview Place. His home was saved by the lucky placement of two garages.

“Our house doesn’t appear to have much damage,” he said, “but that is because the garages took the brunt of the blast.”

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