East Cleveland police seek suspect in deadly house explosion

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio-- The East Cleveland Police Department released new information on Tuesday on the house explosion in East Cleveland that killed one person.

The blast happened Sunday afternoon at 1067 East 125th St.

Christopher Glenn (Photo courtesy: East Cleveland police)

East Cleveland Cmdr. Scott Gardner said four people were stripping the house for scrap. They took several loads to scrap yards and gas accumulated in the house.

The State Division of Fire Marshal said investigators believe the group tampered with gas lines inside the home, which caused the explosion. The source of ignition has not been released and Gardner stressed this was not an issue with Dominion Energy.

Of the four suspects, a woman was killed and a man was severely injured. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office has not identified the deceased. The man remains at MetroHealth Medical Center in critical condition and authorities have not been able to speak with him.

Police have the driver in custody and are looking for Christopher Glenn, 50, of Cleveland. Gardner said their first priority is his safety since he may have been injured in the explosion.

Investigators spoke with a woman, who was previously considered a person of interest. She was released without charges.

The explosion destroyed one house, left five uninhabitable and damaged about a hundred more. The American Red Cross is assisting those victims.

The State Division of Fire Marshal is offering a $5,000 reward and Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County is offering $2,500 for information in this case. You can call Crime Stoppers at 216-252-7463 with tips.

Continuing coverage of this story here

Jen Steer June 12, 20181:01 pm

Four people came to the house in a van to strip materials. They took several loads to a strap yard and natural gas accumulated in the house.

Jen Steer June 12, 20181:01 pm

The driver of the van is in custody. 

Jen Steer June 12, 20181:02 pm

The woman who died has not been identified by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Jen Steer June 12, 20181:03 pm

There is a $5,000 reward from fire marshals and $2,500 from Crime Stoppers.

Jen Steer June 12, 20181:03 pm

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County at 216-252-7463.

Jen Steer June 12, 20181:04 pm

The two victims, the woman who was killed and the man who is in critical condition, were involved in the scrapping. 

Jen Steer June 12, 20181:05 pm

No one has been charged.

Jen Steer June 12, 20181:07 pm

It was not a Dominion issue or a gas leak, investigators say. It was an issue from inside the house, tampering with the pipes.

Jen Steer June 12, 20181:09 pm

Ronetta Butts, the previous person of interest, is not facing charges in this specific incident. Officials say she may be involved in other scrapping incidents and that will be handled by the prosecutor’s office.

Jen Steer June 12, 20181:10 pm

The van used was a white panel van. Detectives have not talked with the man who was injured.

Jen Steer June 12, 20181:13 pm

Five houses are uninhabitable right now.