Southgate woman killed when series of explosions destroys half of longtime home

Officials investigating cause of explosions

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

SOUTHGATE, Mich. - A 59-year-old woman was killed Thursday when a series of explosions destroyed the back half of the home where she lived for many years, officials said.

The explosions happened around 9:30 a.m. Thursday on Cunningham Street near Fort Street.

There isn't much damage in the front of the home, but the entire back of the house was blown up in a series of explosions, police said.

A next-door neighbor said there were as many as five explosions.

"I heard this loud, awful boom, like something had hit the house," neighbor Marilyn Andrews said.

"It blew out some of the windows, including the one where my daughter was sleeping, so she screamed and jumped up and we all ran out," neighbor Rachel Gamble said.

Brandon Lancour said he had known the woman since he was 5 years old. He learned about what had happened while he was at work.

"I collapsed and started crying," Lancour said. "At first, it didn't seem real. I've grabbed groceries for her. Wonderful lady. Very kind, humble lady."

Neighbors said children often play outside in the neighborhood, so the impact of the explosions could have been even worse.

Investigators are working to piece together exactly what caused the explosions.

Here is aerial video of the scene:

More photos:

The next-door neighbor's home was damaged during a deadly house explosion in Southgate on Aug. 22, 2019. (WDIV)

A house destroyed in a deadly explosion in Southgate on Aug. 22, 2019. (WDIV)

A Southgate house was destroyed in an explosion on Aug. 22, 2019. (WDIV)

Firefighters on the scene of a deadly house explosion in Southgate on Aug. 22, 2019. (WDIV)

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