Natural gas pipe altered in exploded home on Illinois St.

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It was a day full of questions after a house exploded Wednesday night. Fire chief Will Jackson said someone altered the natural gas pipe inside the home and he said it’s considered suspicious. He couldn’t give more detail than that, aside from saying the pipe wasn’t in its usual state. They’re still investigating the incident.

Fire crews said the explosion took place around 7:30 Wednesday night on Illinois St. One person was killed, but his name has not yet been released. RG&E crews were called to the scene for a strong odor. Crews found a man inside the home but he refused to let them in.

The house was fully demolished after the explosion and the rubble that remains is now covered now by a white tarp. Red tape and fencing have also been added to keep people off the scene.

Rob Faulkner owns Emergency Enclosure and he’s been responding to damage at neighboring homes since the explosion happened.

“If anybody was actually up close to the explosion they may not have been here to actually speak about it,” said Faulkner.

Chief Jackson said there are still unanswered questions from the blast.

“A lot of the evidence that we may need is destroyed or compromised so we want to make sure if we have to level it, we get in as quickly as we can and get the information that we need,” said Jackson.

The collapse rescue team responded to the scene and they found the body in the basement.

“We were able to clear what we considered the first floor and second floor, we were able to put the building back together in our minds and we realized he was in the most difficult spot for us,” said Captain Ed Tracey of the collapse rescue team.

Bill Platt is a disaster specialist with the Red Cross. He’s part of a team working to help people in the neighborhood recover.

“It’s something that even if you’ve seen this for a long time and you’ve been to these before it leaves a hole in your heart the people that are affected,” said Platt.

The chief said they’re not sure what ignited the gas. It could’ve been anything electric in the house. He also said it could be over a year before all the damage to neighboring houses is repaired.

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