Police ID man injured in home explosion - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Police ID man injured in home explosion

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TUSCOLA COUNTY (WJRT) -

(10/01/13) - Police in Tuscola County say the man who was hurt in a house explosion Tuesday is 69-year-old Doug Shippey.

Investigators say the blast heard from miles away may have been caused by a gas leak in the home.

Neighbors say Shippey was lighting his stove to cook and the blast happened seconds later. They tell us they could hear Shippey yelling for help and pulled him from the rubble. He was seriously hurt and airlifted to the hospital.

The blast happened in Wisner Township, near the corner of Manke Drive and Owen Road.

Marvin Hasso, the Akron Fire chief, tells us Shippey was trying to light his stove to make lunch when his house exploded.

He was then trapped inside.

"I couldn't even believe that he's alive when they took him out of the house, there's nothing there," said Sue Dierich, a neighbor.

The explosion was so powerful that even the fire chief says he heard it from about seven miles away. Neighbors like Dierich, who lives across the street, also have damage.

"His house was completely blown apart. I walked into my house, it looks like the roof had blown up and twisted, the patio doors on the front looks like it was blown in and back out again," she said.

Akron firefighters say when they arrived to the scene, the area was engulfed in flames and the house was down to the ground. Their number one priority was making sure Shippey was OK.

He was burned and was air lifted to Hurley Hospital in Flint.

"I was the first one that came up on scene for the older gentlemen, one of the neighbors actually pulled him out of the building he was actually sitting on the side of the driveway when I pulled up. He was fortunate that the neighbors were able to pull him out from underneath the roof," said Marvin Hasso, the police chief.

ABC12 has learned from neighbors that Shippey just finished remodeling his home.

"He just had new windows put in, he had a roof put in, doors. I just don't understand what happened," Dierich said.

Investigators say it's possible that the propane stove was leaking.

"My guess is that it had been leaking for some time and he just wasn't aware of it to knock the whole house down, it's not something that just leaked just when he turned it on," Hasso said.

The state fire Marshall is investigating the cause of the explosion. The fire chief says Shippey's condition isn't being released at this time.

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