Neighbors and victims speak out about blast

Dayton fire officials confirmed to 2 NEWS that natural gas was a factor in the explosion of a house, April 21, 2014. (WDTN Photo/Beairshelle Edme)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Authorities now know that natural gas caused a Dayton home to explode, but officials say what lead up to the blast is suspicious.

2 NEWS questioned authorities about the developments in the investigation.  They say they have reason to believe scrap metal and foul play could be involved.

While investigators look to determine the facts, other officials have been going through neighborhood homes for assessment;  49 home have been deemed damaged and the number continues to rise.

For some property owners, simple repairs may not cut it.

Herman White is one of the victims; he and his son, Erik, were dragged off the road in his red pick-up right as the blast ignited shortly before 10:30 a.m. Monday morning.

“All I heard was bells and boom, dust flying and fire!” said White.  “I mean it blew real hard, knocked out the windows of the truck.  A lot of glass went on my son’s ear and face and head and all that.”

His son was later hospitalized and Mr. White can hear ringing in his ears; he’s still shocked that he survived.

“‘First I thought the truck had blown up and he (Erik White) started hollering: ‘Daddy, what’s going on. Daddy, Daddy, Daddy?’  and he jumped out and ran and I stopped and jumped out and went across on the sidewalk,” said the long-time resident of Dayton’s west side.

Other neighbors are now meeting with insurance agents to report the damage.

2 NEWS toured Allen Cannon’s home; he told our crew everything is gone.

The home is now unlivable.

“It looks like everything is shifted so I don’t know how they’re going to fix it up,” said Cannon, a resident of more than 40 years of the 500 block of Brooklyn Avenue.

Some homeowners remain skeptical that the clean-up will happen anytime soon and believe repair costs will come out of their own pockets.

“My biggest thing is hoping that the insurance company will treat me better than they have treated me in the past because it’s a lot of damage here and they tend to want to give you peanuts for it,” said Roy Miller, also a resident of the block where the explosion happened.

Despite some neighborhood wide skepticism, officials are still urging residents to contact their insurance agents as soon as possible to determine their next steps towards recovery.

Meanwhile, Dayton Fire Department and special investigators will continue to search into how the explosion started. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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