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Child missing, 1 dead, 2 injured after Flint house explosion

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Authorities confirmed one person died, a 3-year-old is missing and two others were injured after an explosion in Flint.

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - At least one person has died and a young child is missing after a house explosion in Flint on Monday night.

A third person remained hospitalized with injuries from the major blast, which destroyed three homes and damaged more than a dozen others around the 3900 block of Hogarth Avenue.

Flint Fire Chief Raymond Barton said a Michigan State Police cadaver dog and fire crews with specialized equipment were searching for the missing 3-year-old Tuesday morning.

Two people were rushed to area hospitals from the scene, where a 70-year-old was pronounced dead and the father of the missing 3-year-old remained in critical condition Tuesday. A fourth person reported minor injuries.

“This is a tragic time for our community," Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley said during a press conference Tuesday morning.

Investigators from Consumers Energy, Michigan State Police and the Flint Police and Fire departments continue looking into what sparked the explosion. No cause was announced Tuesday morning.

Barton said the explosion was reported around 9:30 p.m. in the 3900 block of Hogarth Avenue on the city's west side near the I-75 and Miller Road interchange.

Firefighters found three houses ablaze when they arrived with reports of people trapped. Flaming debris from the blast was scattered all over the neighborhood.

At least 17 structures sustained damage from the explosion and three of them are considered totally destroyed. Structural engineers are looking at each surviving residence in the area to make sure they are safe for occupants.

Much of Hogarth Avenue and the surrounding neighborhood remained evacuated Tuesday morning. Consumers Energy shut off utilities to the entire block where the explosion happened.

Crews are checking the utility's systems to make sure the area is safe. The Flint Blight Team also is working to board up windows and doors blown out by the explosion to secure residences.

Neeley encouraged everyone affected by the explosion to call Flint City Hall at 810-410-2020. Staff members are prepared to take names, addresses and a list of needs that affected residents need to recover.

The American Red Cross was caring for five displaced residents on Tuesday. The organization set up a reception and warming center with snacks at St. Pius X down the street at 3139 Hogarth Ave.

Any residents who need help from the explosion should call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Catholic Charities of Genesee and Shiawassee Counties is coordinating an effort to find housing for everyone displaced by the explosion and the loss of utility service in the neighborhood. Anyone who needs housing assistance should call 810-232-9950.

The United Way of Genesee County has established a fund for the community to send donations for people affected by the explosion. Click here for more information.

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