The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

July 17, 2014

Woman dies in Orwell Township home explosion

ORWELL TOWNSHIP — A 27-year-old female was killed and a male seriously injured after a house explosion at 4033 Montgomery Road Wednesday evening.

The blast, which is said to have been felt for miles, was reported at about 6:45 p.m. Numerous fire departments, the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ashtabula County Coroner’s Office and State Fire Marshall responded to the scene.

Sgt. Brian Cumberledge, of the Sheriff’s Department, said a natural gas leak was the cause of the explosion. The family told authorities there is a history of natural gas seeping into the water system on the property.

Cumberledge said at this point, it is unknown what caused the explosion; however, news reports indicate the male may have lit a cigarette which sparked the blast.

The male was flown by medical helicopter to a Cleveland hospital for treatment of second- and third-degree burns.

The house was completely leveled in the blast with debris scattered across the property. Cumberledge said he has never seen a home leveled in such a manner in Ashtabula County.

Authorities remained on scene into the night Wednesday to continue the investigation, which is ongoing, Cumberledge said.

No further information was immediately available.

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