Neighbors woken up by early morning house explosion

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – Neighbors say they are still in shock after an early morning house explosion in Kettering that left one woman dead.

Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the house explosion that killed 58-year-old Darlene Baumgardner. The explosion happened in the 400 block of North Claridge Drive around 4:30 Tuesday morning.

“The explosion was loud enough it shook the bed and the house and woke me out of a dead sleep,” said neighbor Pattie McCroson.

McCroson and her husband live just around the corner from where Baumgardner’s home once stood. McCroson’s husband went outside to see if a tree had fallen on their home, she said, and that’s when he saw the fire nearby.

“It was about 4:30 or so when I looked at the clock when I woke up,” McCroson said. “And within a couple of minutes, the flames were shooting above the two-story house.”

Many neighbors told 2 NEWS they were still too stunned to speak about the explosion on camera. One woman called it the scariest sound she had ever heard. Some told us they had often seen the victim walking her dog in the neighborhood.

“I just hope that they can determine what caused it,” McCroson said. “And prayers for her family. My goodness, what a horrible, horrible, horrible thing.”

There’s no word yet on the cause of the explosion, but some neighbors like McCroson said they still plan to be extra cautious.

“I think our Vectren was inspected within the last year, but now I’m thinking I don’t care how long ago – look again,” she said. “Because it’s just very scary that something like that could happen.”

Neighbors told 2 NEWS crews from Vectren checked on meters at nearby homes throughout the day. Vecrtren officials have done a preliminary investigation and have not found any issues with their service, according to officials.

Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the explosion.

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