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Posted on Sun, Jul 7, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

Fire crews investigating house explosion in Ypsilanti Township

By Sven Gustafson

Firefighters and investigators were investigating the cause of an apparent house explosion and fire Sunday in Ypsilanti Township.

Three people — a man, woman and an infant — were in the home on the 1300 block of Gattegno Street at the time of the incident, authorities said. The woman and child escaped without injury, but eyewitnesses reported seeing the man fleeing the house with his clothes on fire, Ypsilanti Township Fire Chief Eric Copeland said.

The man was initially unaccounted for, but Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office spokesman Derrick Jackson said authorities later located him at the University of Michigan Hospital, where he was being treated for injuries.

After questioning him at the hospital, police do not consider him a suspect, Jackson said. He drove himself to the hospital after sustaining injuries while leaving the home.

Jackson said 911 dispatchers received several calls starting at 11:22 a.m. reporting a loud explosion and house fire.

No other structures were reported damaged. The cause of the explosion isn't known.

"The fire marshal is saying that it looks consistent with a natural gas explosion at this point," Jackson said.

But DTE Energy spokesman Scott Simons disputed that, saying that crews were on the scene taking measurements and that "there was no reading of natural gas."


The home at 1360 Gattegno Street.

Photo via the Ypsilanti Township assessor's office.

Copeland said firefighters were still working to put out a few hotspots at the one-story ranch home early Sunday afternoon. "Most of the flames are down but there is still smoke that is billowing from that structure. And we can only attack it from the outside" because of damage from the fire had cause some floor joists to collapse, he said.

The home, at 1360 Gattegno Street, was sold in foreclosure as recently as 2008 and is currently registered to Star Properties IV LLC of Saline, according to the township assessor's office.

Keith Jason, who lives next door to the house, said he was returning home with his family shortly after 1 p.m. when he found his neighborhood shut down and saw smoke billowing from nearby his home.

Jason, the student services coordinator for the College of Technology at Eastern Michigan University, said the male who was injured was an EMU student whom he spoke with in passing.

"They had a baby that was less than a year old that was in the house with them," he said.

Firefighters from multiple neighboring jurisdictions were assisting Ypsilanti Township crews at the scene.

A neighbor's surveillance camera caught this footage of the moment the house exploded:

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Staff writer Ben Freed contributed to this story.



Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

Change the guidelines then because to keep deleting my comments that aren't in violation of anything is ridiculous.


Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

I want to know what happened to the animal that ran out the front door trailing smoke??


Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.



Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

Butane Honey Oil...

Basic Bob

Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.



Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 12:39 p.m.

Can't deal with the whitewashing here.


Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 11:20 a.m.



Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 4:24 p.m.



Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

Still think that way?


Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 11:45 a.m.



Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 2:18 a.m. everyone should have some type of surveillance in this day and and age. This is a reason why.

Homeland Conspiracy

Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 12:36 a.m.

I wonder if the dog's name is George Costanza


Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 1:36 a.m.

too funny!

Ann English

Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 12:34 a.m.

A natural gas explosion in Whitmore Lake back in 1990 killed someone surnamed Fearer and sent a roommate surnamed Chapman flying through the air; this explosion was definitely less injurious, so I'm open to something other than natural gas causing it.


Sun, Jul 7, 2013 : 10:04 p.m.

Oh my gosh! The explosion blew out the entire front of the house! It seems like a miracle that everyone escaped alive, thank goodness. That was one heck of an explosion.


Sun, Jul 7, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

Dog Gone ! did you see how fast that dog split the scene? Perhaps he knocked something off of the stove.


Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 12:43 a.m.

I half wondered if he accidentally bit something..


Sun, Jul 7, 2013 : 8:45 p.m.

What happened to the dog?


Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 1:49 p.m.

Free at last !!!


Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 10:34 a.m.

The Detroit News on Sunday reported that the dog was chased and captured by the man who ran from the explosion.

Robert Granville

Sun, Jul 7, 2013 : 7:47 p.m.

Didn't want to wait for the ambulance I suppose.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jul 7, 2013 : 7:23 p.m.

Glad to see everyone got out of the house alive.