Canton Home Explosion Labeled ‘Suspicious’

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CANTON, Ohio -- A joint investigation conducted by Dominion East Ohio and the Canton Fire Department revealed “foul play” is not being ruled out in Wednesday night’s house explosion.

Battalion Chief Raymond Harple says piping in the basement of the home at 706 Weiler Court had been tampered with.

Harple says, “We are now trying to determine who, when and how this explosion happened.”

Tenant Andrea Phillips spent much of the day inside her Canton home. She is fortunate she wasn’t home when it exploded.

Neighbors called 911 after they heard the explosion. When police and firefighters arrived just before 8 p.m., they found the home in flames.

Canton Fire Department Battalion Chief Akbar Bennett told Fox 8 that firefighters saw blue flames letting them know that natural gas was involved in the explosion.

“I was just in the house today and was out sitting on the porch,” said Phillips. “I didn’t smell any gas or anything. So it took me by surprise.”

Phillips said several dogs inside the home were injured in the blast.

Her neighbors were worried that she was in the home, as well.

“I had people calling me to see if I was okay,” she said.

Bennett said the explosion knocked the home off of its foundation. The exact cause is still under investigation.

“I thank God that I’m out here watching and not inside being took out in no body bag,” Phillips said.

Authorities say the owner of the home, Mark Mobley, has been questioned as part of the investigation. Fire officials also say the tenant was in the process of moving out of the home, believe to be built in the 1930s.