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Flint, MI– There are now two confirmed deaths as a result of a house explosion that occurred in Flint’s west side on Monday night.
City officials have not yet determined the cause of the explosion, but have confirmed that a 55-year-old woman, and a 4-year-old girl who had previously been missing, have both died.
On Nov. 22, around 9:30 p.m. there was an explosion in a house on the 3900 block of Hogarth Avenue. The house became engulfed in flames, and two houses, to the east and west side of the home, burned down as well, according to city officials.
On Tuesday morning, city officials reported that there were two people with injuries, one in critical condition. They also said that there was one fatality– a 70-year-old man in the house next door to the explosion– and one missing 3-year-old child who was in the home that exploded.
In a second press conference held Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Sheldon Neeley announced that it was actually a 55-year-old woman who died in the house next door, and that the missing child, actually a 4-year-old girl, had been found dead.
“We hate to see anybody lose their life, but it’s so hard when it’s a child,” said Fire Chief Raymond Barton.
Three houses burned down completely, and there were 30 homes with structural damage, Neeley said during the second press conference. He also said that 27 homes had their utilities turned off by Consumers Energy and the water department to prevent further damage from happening.
Crews have been out at the scene cleaning debris, boarding up broken windows, and investigating the cause of the fire. The investigation is still ongoing, with no explanation yet for the cause of the explosion.
The city partnered with various shelters and organizations, including Hand of God Ministries, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and United Way, to get the families living on the block into shelters while crews evaluate their homes to determine whether it is safe for them to return.
Neeley asked that Flint residents not drive to the scene of the explosion to see it, and just allow crews to continue to do their investigation and clean-up work.
If you are a resident who was affected by the fires, you can call the city of Flint to be connected to any resources you may need. The phone number is (810) 410-2020. Neeley said a 24-hour phone line has been established, so residents can call at any time.
You can also call Catholic Charities for housing needs, at (810) 232-9950.
If you would like to donate to a fund for the victims of the explosion, you can visit the United Way website here. United Way has contributed the first $5,000 to the fund.
You can also donate blankets, coats, water, pillows, and other things to Hand of God Ministries located at 3408 Miller Rd.
Neeley urged residents to donate to these organizations, rather than any Go Fund Me pages they may see, in order to ensure that their donation is secure.
Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...
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