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Kettering house explosion investigation could take months

Published: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 @ 2:35 PM
Updated: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 10:07 AM

Watch as a Kettering PD cruiser arrives at the scene of a house explosion and fire early Tuesday morning.

Multiple agencies are expected to be involved in the investigation of a deadly Kettering house explosion early Tuesday, and the work could take months, one investigator said. 

A 58-year-old woman, Darlene Baumgardner, died as a result of injuries suffered in the incident on North Claridge Drive. Massive flames shot into the sky as first responders arrived. Baumgardner was found in a neighbor’s yard. 

Scott Bennett was hired by a law firm to investigate the explosion and was on the scene Wednesday. He is a former Dayton fire investigator and president of the International Association of Arson Investigators. 

Many parties will seek their own review of the incident, including the victim’s family, insurance and utility companies. That work will take several months to finish, he said. 

Kettering fire officials initially said a natural gas leak was a possible cause but have not provided additional information on the cause since then.

Dash-camera video released by Kettering police shows what officers and firefighters encountered Tuesday morning after a house exploded on North Claridge Drive.

This news organization requested the video to be released and is continuing to report and make inquiries about the investigation into the deadly incident.

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The video shows the police cruiser driving through the meandering suburban street. It was raining at the time. Initially, the video shows a Kettering fire engine and a glow in the background sky. When the officer pulls closer, the video shows massive flames reaching 30 to 50 feet in the sky where the home once stood.

Baumgardner was found in critical condition in the next door neighbor’s yard after her house exploded before dawn Tuesday, according to authorities. Officials said she succumbed to her injuries at the scene.

Preliminary findings from the autopsy indicate Baumgardner died of multiple blunt-force trauma and thermal injuries, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said today.

RELATED >>> Victim in deadly Kettering house explosion, fire identified

When the flames were extinguished at the house on North Claridge Drive, nothing but charred and splintered debris remained.

The Kettering emergency dispatch center was inundated with calls from neighbors, the first shortly after 4:30 a.m.

“Oh my God. I can see it a little better now. I think the house has collapsed. There was an explosion. There’s stuff in the yard,” one of the first 9-1-1 callers reported.

What caused the explosion?

The exact cause of the explosion remains under investigation, but the immediate indications were that it was linked to a natural gas leak, according to Kettering Fire Chief Tom Butts.  

“It sure seems like it could have been fed by natural gas of some sort, just due to the bulk of the explosion here and the debris field,” he said. “I’m believing that the neighborhood is in shock from this occurring … This is a tragic event, but we’ll do everything we possibly can do to figure out exactly what caused this, so that this never happens again, or we can figure out how to keep this from happening again.”

If a gas leak is linked to the cause of the explosion, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio may be obligated to launch an investigation, said PUCO Spokesman Matt Schilling.

“If the gas utility appears to be involved, as state regulators of gas pipeline safety, we would get involved,” Schilling said. 

Schilling said PUCO investigates to determine that state and federal gas pipeline safety standards were followed and to determine if there were any contributing factors. 

If the source of the leak is determined to be inside the home, Schilling said PUCO would not be involved in the investigation because it wouldn’t involve the “utilities infrastructure.”

Residents who live near the home told WHIO’s Sean Cudahy they were wakened by a loud boom that shook their homes.

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“The garage door was blown across the street … Just an ‘oh my God’ moment,” said neighbor Jim Brown. 

Neighbor Cynthia Michael said she and her husband heard the boom and searched their home for what might have caused it. 

“It could happen to anybody,” Michael said. “You’re very blessed if your house is intact, especially considering this time of year and Christmas. It makes it even harder.”

A similar explosion happened March 28 in the 400 block of Pamela Sue Drive in Kettering. Four people and a dog escaped, but one person suffered injuries. This news organization is working to learn the findings from that investigation.

Teen killed in overnight shooting identified; SWAT standoff ends

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 1:40 AM
Updated: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 10:59 AM

Dayton police and SWAT have surrounded a home in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue where investigators said a suspect from an overnight shooting is believed to be barricaded inside.

UPDATE @10:30 a.m.

A SWAT standoff related to a fatal shooting where an 18-year-old woman was killed has ended.

Four people were in the home in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue when police made entry. The shooting suspect was not inside, but one person was arrested on an unrelated traffic incident, police said.

>>Latest Local News

UPDATE @ 8:45 a.m. 

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office has identified the woman killed in an overnight shooting on Caliph Court as Dontiaunna Brown, 18, of Dayton. 

Brown’s cause of death has not been officially ruled and an autopsy is scheduled for later today. 

Dayton police and SWAT continue to surround a home in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue where investigators said a suspect is believed to be barricaded inside. 

We’ll update this page as we learn more. 

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UPDATE @ 8:20 a.m. 

Police and SWAT have surrounded a home in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue in Dayton where an overnight shooting suspect is believed to be barricaded inside, according to Dayton police. 

Officers have blocked off the area and are demanding the occupants to exit the house, according to our crew on the scene. 

Police confirmed to our crew the subject of the SWAT callout is connected to the overnight shooting on Caliph Court where an 18-year-old woman was killed. 

We’ll update this page as we learn more. 

UPDATE @ 3:05 a.m. 

An 18-year-old woman was shot and killed inside an apartment on Caliph Court early Saturday morning, according to Dayton police. 

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The woman was found suffering from a gunshot wound to her neck around 1:25 a.m. and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Dayton police Sgt. Theodore Trupp. 

Trupp said it was too early in their investigation to determine what led to the shooting and police do not have any suspects.

Additional details about the investigation were not available. 

The identity of the woman has not been released, pending notification of family. 

FIRST REPORT

Police and medics have responded to a report of a person shot on Caliph Court in Dayton early Saturday morning.

Emergency crews responded to the 5000 block of Caliph Court around 1:25 a.m. after the incident was reported. 

Officers are reportedly looking in the area for at least one suspect and have requested a K9 officer to the scene, according to initial reports. 

The condition of the victim was not immediately known. 

We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as we learn more. 

Boil advisory remains in effect after water main break

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 7:44 PM
Updated: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 11:10 AM

Miamisburg water main break

UPDATE @11 a.m. 12/15/17

A boil advisory in effect for Miamisburg remsins in effect.

Those under the advisory will receive a second door hanger notice when the boil advisory expires.

>> Local news from the Miami Valley

UPDATE @ 7:51 p.m.: The break has been repaired and service should be restored shortly, city PIO Gary Giles said.

INITIAL REPORT

A water main break on North Heincke Road, near Mary Francis Court, in Miamisburg has caused more than 200 homes and apartments to lose water service, city Public Information Office Gary Giles said. 

In a statement release minutes ago, those in affected residences will get a door hanger notice advising of a boil water advisory, which will be in effect at least 24 hours. Repair crews are on site. 

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A second door hanger notice will be delivered when the advisory expires. 

Heincke Road has not been closed to traffic, Giles said. 

We'll update this developing report as information becomes available. 

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

Crews battle fire in Dayton home; 1 injury reported

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 9:06 AM
Updated: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 9:50 AM

Firefighters were dispatched to the first block of South Westview Avenue around 8:50 a.m. on reports of house fire.

UPDATE @9:51 a.m.

Fire officials said a child escaped injury and a woman suffered burns to her feet in a Dayton house fire.

The fire in the first block of South Westview Avenue was contained to a bedroom, according to officials. The cause is under investigation.

The woman and two-year-old child were in the front lawn when they arrived on scene.

TRENDING: 18-year-old killed in overnight shooting; SWAT surrounds suspect’s home

FIRST REPORT

At least one person has been injured after a fire broke out in a Dayton home Saturday morning. 

Firefighters were dispatched to the first block of South Westview Avenue around 8:50 a.m. on reports of house fire. 

RELATED: Roof collapses after fire breaks out in Dayton house

First units on scene said one person inside the home was injured and requested to a medic to the scene. The condition of the victim was not immediately known.

Firefighters also reported smoke showing from the structure when they arrived, according to initial reports. 

We’re monitoring this developing story and we’ll update this page as we learn more. 

Dayton SWAT activity connected to overnight shooting

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 7:47 AM
Updated: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 8:30 AM

UPDATE @ 8:30 a.m. 

Police confirm SWAT activity in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue is connected to an overnight shooting on Caliph Court where an 18-year-old was shot and killed. 

RELATED: Teen shot, killed in overnight shooting; SWAT surrounds suspect’s house

The story in the link above will be updated with the latest details on the shooting and SWAT activity. 

FIRST REPORT

We’re working to learn more about police activity reported at a home on Tampa Avenue in Dayton Saturday morning. 

TRENDING: Teen shot, killed overnight inside Dayton apartment

Multiple Dayton police officers currently have the house in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue surrounded and are demanding the occupants to exit, according to initial reports. 

Scanner traffic indicates SWAT has been requested to the scene, but dispatchers were not able to confirm those reports. 

Our crew is on the way and we’ll update this page when we learn more.