Investigators work to determine cause of deadly Blount County home explosion
2 found dead after house explosion in Blount County, TN
WATE 6 On Your Side Staff
Updated: July 14, 2017
The Blount County Sheriff’s Office said investigators, along with the Blount County Fire Department and a special agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are continuing to sift through the rubble of a home in order to determine the cause and origin of the explosion. An agent with the ATF also responded Thursday evening.
The sheriff’s office said autopsies of the two bodies will be performed on Saturday. The remains of two adults were found on the property.
MARYVILLE (WATE) – Blount County officials say two people were found dead in the rubble of a house explosion in Blount County.
The Blount County Sheriff’s Office says the remains of two adults were found on the property after the explosion, but they don’t believe anyone else was in the house.
The explosion was reported around 5:40 p.m. in the 2800 block of Old Whites Mill Road.
The Blount County Sheriff’s Office says there is no need for nearby residents to evacuate. Old Whites Mill will be closed between Pleasant Hill Road and Pineview Road during the investigation. Residents should still be able to get to their homes.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Blount County Sheriff’s Office and Blount County Fire Department are working to find out the cause of the explosion.
BLOUNT COUNTY, TENN. - Update 8:00 p.m.: Two people were killed in a house explosion in Blount County, according to the Blount County Sheriff's Department. Officials are still investigating the cause of the explosion.
Previous story: Emergency crews are on the scene of a possible house explosion in Blount County.
Information is limited at this time, but officials responded to an address on Old White's Mill Road around 6 p.m. on Thursday. It's located in a rural area east of Maryville.
It's very early in the investigation, but a sheriff's office spokesperson says it's possible it was a gas explosion. There's no word yet on any injuries.This is a developing story. We will update with more information when it is available
Old Whites Mill Road home explosion kills two in Tennessee
BY MIKE GIBSON email@example.com
Local emergency personnel are continuing to clean up the scene and working to determine the cause of an explosion that leveled a home and claimed the lives of two people on Old Whites Mill Road Thursday afternoon.
According to Blount County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Marian O’Briant, reports of the explosion that rocked the 2800 block of Old Whites Mill Road poured in to the county’s 911 call center beginning around 5:40 p.m. Thursday.
Officers from BCSO and firefighters from Blount County Fire Department arrived on the scene minutes later, only to find the home at that address flattened and burning, most of its contents scattered across the surrounding hills and fields.
On a day when outdoor temperatures were already inching into the 90s, with over 60 percent humidity, Blount County firefighters toiled over hot spots well into the evening, Blount County Deputy Chief Jerry Phillips said.
Nonetheless, it only took about 20 minutes to knock down and control the worst of the fire. Phillips explained that the force of the explosion cast much of the home’s burnable materials far from the center of the blaze, limiting its size.
With the blazed contained, officials began the unpleasant work of searching for casualties. Phillips said two people, both deceased, were found in the rubble, one man and one woman. O’Briant said authorities have not determined the victims’ names, nor whether they were residents of the home; Knox County Forensics Center are to perform autopsies Saturday. There were no other apparent casualties.
In all, around 20 men and six units from BCFD answered the call Thursday, along with an untold number of BCSO deputies and a few representatives from Blount County’s Red Cross. Describing the chaos of the scene, Phillips said the initial responders were greeted by a “debris field the size of a football field.
“There were objects from the house blown everywhere, all over the vicinity and up in all the trees. There were two-by-fours hung up in trees. There were bed springs up in trees. There were window frames blown out 200 feet from the home.”
Phillips said the roughly 1,000-square-foot home appeared to have collapsed inward after the explosion, with the remaining fire nested in the foundation when BCFD arrived.
The specific street address where the explosion occurred was unavailable Thursday, but it happened on the 2800 block of Old Whites Mill Road, in a rural, sparsely populated area about 100 yards from the 2900 block and the intersection of a small gravel side road, Estonia Way.
O’Briant said work will continue at the scene today and Tennessee Bomb and Arson is assisting in the investigation.
O’Briant warned through travelers that Old Whites Mill Road would be closed indefinitely between Pineview Road and Pleasant Hill Road, although local residents will still have access to their homes.