House explodes in Parma Heights killing one person and sending debris flying

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PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) -- The state fire marshal is now taking the lead of an investigation into the cause of a house explosion in Parma Heights Saturday afternoon.

Police said a body was found in the rubble of the house .

The house was leveled during the blast on Mallo Place around 1:15 PM Saturday.

Rob Kovacs lives several doors down from the house that suddenly exploded, shaking homes in the neighborhood.

Kovacs said the blast shook his house hard, as did many other neighbors, who also said they saw pieces of debris from the exploded house flying through the air more than half of a city block away.

“The walls are gone. It looks like rubble. The house is almost totally collapsed,” Kovacs said.

Kovacs and other neighbors anxiously waited for more information.

They were hoping no one was inside the home during the explosion.

But Parma Heights police later confirmed that a body was found in the rubble.

The medical examiner will have to determine the person’s identity.

Neighbors said an elderly man lived in the home.

Parma Heights Fire Chief Mike Lasky said a car was found parked in the garage.

Lasky said no neighbors were hurt.

“We did take precautions and shut off all of the gas to all of the neighbors’ houses. We evacuated this street and the street behind us."

Officials said neighbors were allowed back in their homes, and gas to their homes was tuned back on.

Orlando Alvarez lives right next-door to the house that exploded.

Alvarez said he and his friends ran out of their house and got away from the flames as quickly as possible.

“When I heard the explosion I fell on the floor. So I was thinking a car went inside the house, but it was the house that blew up,” Alvarez said.

“The whole thing fell down. The whole house,” Alvarez said.

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