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Investigation underway into cause of deadly house explosion

By: Gabriel Roxas, Sean Moody Email
By: Gabriel Roxas, Sean Moody Email

Friday Update:
Officials from Powell County Emergency Management, Kentucky State Police, and the State Fire Marshal's office are all on the scene of Thursday's deadly house explosion.

They're searching through what remains of the house to find the official cause of the explosion. Authorities say 84-year-old Jack Roberts died in the blast. Two others, Karen Knox and Jerry Roberts, were critically injured and had to be flown to UK Hospital.

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One person is dead and two others seriously hurt after an explosion early Thursday in Powell County.

The explosion happened at a home on Paint Creek Road near Stanton. A large amount of smoke could be seen for miles.

As firefighters combed through the rubble, news of the fire continued to make it's way to family members. "I just found out," Debbie Derickson said, "I was at the store and just happened to hear about, some Roberts house blew up on Paint Creek."

Derickson began to learn some of the details of the explosion that started the fire at the home of her uncle, Jack Roberts. Fire investigators haven't determined the official cause, but Derickson says her cousins, Jerry and Karen knew of problems with the home's gas. "They smelled it in the basement," Derickson said, "so they went out and shut it off, and apparently the gas hadn't had time to get out of the house yet before they went back in, and some reason or another, it ignited, and my uncle was found under the kitchen table."

Derrickson says her cousin Jerry pulled his sister out of the fire and drove for help. "When he got out of the car," Derrickson said, "some of his body was left on the seat. You know, pieces of body was left on the seat. I think that's a hero."

The brother and sister were airlifted to UK Hospital in critical condition, leaving firefighters to make their way through the crater where the Roberts home stood.

Even hours after gaining control of the scene, firefighters had to take a break when the scent of gas temporarily shut down the cleanup.

"I pray for my family, and I want you to pray for them too please," Derickson said.

Fire investigators tell us they expect to spend several more days on the scene trying to determine what caused the explosion.


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