Ann Arbor, MI – The Ann Arbor Police Department has released a shocking video depicting the violent explosion that occurred in the early hours of Monday on South Seventh Street. The incident, which took place on February 19, unfolded as first responders bravely battled the engulfing flames that eventually led to the complete collapse of a residence in the 700 block.

In the alarming footage, a distressed caller can be heard reporting, “Oh my God, there’s been an explosion across the street.” Responders, initially uncertain of the cause, urgently urged bystanders to keep their distance from the raging fire.

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Immediate action was taken to locate the homeowner, who fortunately survived the catastrophic event. Emergency personnel transported the homeowner, identified as 76-year-old Thomas Piedmont, to an ambulance for medical attention.

According to officials, the devastating explosion resulted from the ignition of two 20-pound propane tanks that were being utilized for heating purposes. Chief Mike Kennedy stressed that these propane tanks were designed for heating in construction sites, not residential properties. The fire department unequivocally advises against using this method to heat a home.

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Chief Kennedy remarked, “Due to the total destruction of the house, there’s truly not an ability for us to piece that together, and the owner-occupant recollection, understandably, is unclear on what may have happened first.” It remains uncertain whether the explosion preceded the fire or if the fire itself caused the explosion. However, Chief Kennedy asserted that the outcome would have been equally catastrophic regardless of the sequence. Authorities have concluded their investigation, classifying the incident as unintentional.

Thomas Piedmont, who was residing alone in the home, was discovered walking around the premises after the explosion. He was promptly taken to the hospital by Huron Valley Ambulance to receive treatment for non-life-threatening injuries sustained during the blast. Grateful community members have rallied together, raising nearly $12,730 (so far) through a GoFundMe campaign to support Piedmont’s medical expenses and relocation costs.

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It was revealed that the house had DTE electric service but its gas service had been shut off approximately ten years ago. DTE Energy spokesman Chris Lamphear mentioned that there were several requests to restore gas service to the property, but each time their crews arrived, access to carry out the necessary work was denied. The shutoff specifics, whether due to unpaid bills or the homeowner’s choice, were not disclosed to protect personal privacy.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers associated with unsafe heating practices in residential areas. The conservative community is urged to prioritize the well-being and safety of their homes and loved ones by following established guidelines for heating systems. Let us learn from this unfortunate event and remain vigilant in ensuring our homes are shielded from such disasters.

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