MONTEZUMA — The cause of the home explosion Sunday evening in Mercer County was propane gas, according to a news release from the Division of State Fire Marshal’s Fire and Explosion Investigation Bureau.
Rosie McClurg, 72, died in the explosion at 3741 County Road 716A, south of Montezuma. The explosion happened at about 6 p.m. Sunday.
The investigation continues, but officials have found that an unknown amount of propane gas was released and accumulated in the structure prior to the accident.
“It’s already starting to get colder, which means more and more people are going to start using propane and firing up their furnaces for the first time,” stated State Fire Marshal Kevin S. Reardon. “Before the winter months set in, we want to urge all Ohioans to have their furnaces and other fueling-burning appliances inspected to avoid any potential dangers.”
Three people next door were injured by falling debris and taken to area hospitals. Two of those people were treated and released.
When the Montezuma Fire Department arrived at the scene, they discovered the house was leveled with fire coming from the west side of the basement. Officials from the same department found McClurg in the debris several hours later.
According to the Mercer County Auditor’s website, the home was owned by Edward and Rosella McClurg and was built in 2003 and is valued at $264,300.
Several fire departments and officers from the region responded.