Coroner identifies woman from Kettering house explosion

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) — One person is dead after a house exploded in Kettering early Tuesday morning.

A house exploded on N. Claridge Dr. in Kettering (WDTN Photo/Zev Orenstein)

The Montgomery County Coroner confirms a 58-year-old Darlene Baumgardner died in the house fire.

Officers said the the woman was the only person in the house at the time.

Fire officials on the scene of the explosion said a woman was taken to Kettering Medical Center in critical condition following the explosion.

Watch the cruiser cam of the house explosion here:

Neighbors reported hearing the explosion between 4 and 4:30 am in the 400 block of N. Claridge Drive, near Indian Hills Drive.

Firefighters arrived on scene just after 4:30 a.m. and found the remains of the house in flames.

Fire officials say the woman who lived in the house was thrown into a neighbor’s yard.

“I’m going to guess something around 15-20 feet. We are still investigating how far that was,” said Chief Tom Butts of the Kettering Fire Department.

The state is now leading the investigation into what happened.

According to fire officials, the fire was likely caused by a natural gas explosion but investigators are still determining the cause of the explosion. Vectren was called to the scene and shut off the gas. DP&L was also called to the scene to assist with any power issues.

Vectren told 2 NEWS they have done a preliminary investigation and did not find issues with their service at that location or at surrounding houses.

“It sure seems like it could have been fed by natural gas of some sort. Just because of the explosion and the debris field,” said Chief Tom Butts of the Kettering Fire Department.

Debris from the house was strewn throughout the neighborhood.

“Everybody uses natural gas. It’s a safe energy source. Accidents happen and leaks do happen from time to time. We always reiterate, if you smell gas, call 911 and we will investigate,” said Chief Butts.

“The neighborhood is in shock from this. This is a tragic event but we will do everything we can to figure out exactly what caused this. So it never happens again or we can figure out how to kept his from happening,” said Chief Butts.

You can watch the video of the house fire one viewer sent to 2 NEWS here:

Heavy smoke blanketed the area as crews worked to put out hot spots. Crews used water and foam to try and contain the fire.

Fire officials confirmed some neighboring houses were damaged but did not say how badly the homes were damaged.

2 NEWS has a crew on the scene and will provide updates on air and online as the story develops.

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