Flint, MI– An explosion on Hogarth Avenue has displaced all families on the block from their homes and resulted in at least two people injured, one person dead, and one person missing.
On Monday night around 9:30 p.m., a house on the 3900 block of Hogarth Avenue exploded on Flint’s west side. The house became engulfed with flames, and two houses, to the east and west side of the home, burned down as well, according to city officials.
During a press conference Tuesday morning, Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley said three houses burned down completely, 17 structures were damaged, and the entire block where the explosion happened had to be evacuated as Consumers Energy shut off utilities to prevent further issues.
Neeley said there were two people with injuries that officials know of, including one person in critical condition. Fire Chief Raymond Barton said victims in the hospital suffered from substantial burns.
Barton said there is one confirmed fatality, a 70-year-old person, who was at the house next door to the initial explosion. There is also a missing 3-year-old child who was in the house of the initial explosion.
The police and fire departments are still investigating the cause of the explosion, and Neeley said that it is too early to rule it suspicious or speculate as to how it happened.
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.
“As we look for calming effects and calming things for these families that have been negatively impacted as a byproduct of this so close to a holiday season where we’re supposed to be operating in love and with our families, we definitely want to provide all the resources that’s necessary,” Neeley said.
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 the city was also working on creating a second phone line.
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 said updates would be provided as the city gets more information on the matter.