59-Year-Old Woman Killed In Southgate House Explosion

WWJ News
August 22, 2019 - 11:35 am
southgate house explosion

(Photo: Scott Ryan/WWJ)

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SOUTHGATE (WWJ) - A 59-year-old woman has died in a house explosion Downriver. 

It happened at around 9:30 a.m. Thursday in the 13400 block of Cunningham Street, between I-75 and Fort Street, in Southgate. 

The back half of the house was completely destroyed in the blast, and a neighboring home was damaged. 

Southgate Public Safety Director Jeffery Smith said the homeowner was inside the house at the time of the blast. 

"The fire department was able to extinguish the home fire, and unfortunately in the back portion of the home we found the 59-year-old homeowner who was deceased," he told WWJ's Roberta Jasina.

"It's reported that she suffered from some medical issues and was on oxygen," Smith said, adding that the tank is being investigated as the possible cause of the blast. 

She may have been smoking and fell asleep, according to reports. Her name was not released. 

Neighbor Rachel Gamble was working in her home office when it happened.

"I looked out and I seen the back of the house and there were flames shooting out the window," Gamble said. "And by the time I got to the front of the house to say 'call 911' there was a second explosion. And then before I could get everybody cleared out of the house there was a third, and I believe there was one or two more after that." 

A DTE Energy crew was called to the scene to shut off the gas as a precaution. 

No one else was hurt.