State And Regional

‘Debris flying, smoke flying;’ Witnesses describe Ohio building explosion that killed 3 people

HILLSBORO — Witnesses are describing what they saw after an explosion destroyed an Ohio business and killed three people Tuesday night.

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News Center 7 previously reported that the explosion happened at Jimbo’s Auto Repair on U.S. 62 in Hillsboro Tuesday night.

Four people were reported to be in the building when it exploded, according to our news partner WCPO in Cincinnati.

Three people died while one other person was treated at the scene and taken to the hospital.

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Clint Moore was outside working a block from the explosion and told WCPO it nearly knocked him off his back ladder.

“All of a sudden, I hear this loud explosion, kind of lifted me up a bit, and then I see this giant plume come up, maybe like three or four stories tall. Debris flying, smoke flying, black smoke,” he said. “I was terrified. Everyone was scrambling around the building, cars were burning up, and it was pandemonium. It was a real war zone. It was unreal.”

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David Manning, Paint Creek Fire Chief, responded to the scene and said the explosion shook the area.

“I can tell you at the firehouse, which is about four or five blocks away, we could feel it in the firehouse,” he said. “So, it definitely did rock and shake the area.”

He also said weather became a factor for firefighters as the sun went down and temperatures dropped into the low 20s.

Hillsboro city workers brought salt trucks to salt the soaked roads to prevent them from freezing over.

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An unidentified man knows the shop owner and also spoke to reporters Tuesday night.

“When I heard about the explosion, I told my wife that she said it rocked our house something awful. And I heard it at home because I know just about everyone who lives here,” he said. “Jimbo, who owns the place is a really stand-up guy who’s a great mechanic, you know, who works with people whose mother, you know, works here for business with him.”

The names of the victims have not yet been identified.

The three bodies recovered have been taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

The cause of the explosion remains under investigation.

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