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Police identify 4 victims killed in Adair County home explosion

(WKYT)
Published: Jan. 26, 2016 at 4:46 PM EST
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Kentucky State Police have identified the four victims killed Tuesday in an Adair County home explosion.

Two of the bodies were recovered outside the residence and two were recovered from within the home, police said.

State Police say the bodies are believed to be those of Mitchell Coomer, 60, his wife Lori Coomer, 52, their granddaughter Kinley Rodgers, 1, and Steven Keltner, 32. Investigators identified the victims from evidence recovered at the scene and from surviving witness, Jason Coomer, 34, who was the son of Mitchell Coomer.

State Police say Jason Coomer was in the basement on the opposite side of the home from where the explosion occurred and was able to make it out of the home with minor injuries.

A neighbor, Melvin Antle said he heard the explosion from his home.

"I heard a horrific explosion and i didn't know what happened," Antle said.

Antle said he went over to his neighbor's house and saw the one surviving witness, Jason Coomer, going back inside to look for his family.

"After he went through the house he didn't find nobody after it exploded he didn't know what happened and he went through the house went upstairs and couldn't find nobody," Antle said.

The cause of the explosion and subsequent fire is still under investigation.

On Tuesday, investigators determined that one person was dead, but crews were searching for three other people. That search resumed Wednesday.

Police have said the explosion happened Tuesday afternoon on M Coomer Road, which is off Highway 206.

Firefighters and law enforcement officers responded to the fire at the house outside Columbia after they received several emergency calls reporting an explosion.

The Adair Progress reported that the home belongs to Mitchell Coomer.

Only a portion of the large log home home was still standing.

M Coomer Rd, which is just off Ky. 206 near Columbia, remained blocked off to all traffic Wednesday while police and other investigators worked to figure out what happened here Tuesday afternoon. The blast that neighbors nearly a a mile away say they felt...destroyed the home owned by Mitchell Coomer.

"A very clever man. He did a lot of things in his lifetime. Always had a smile on his face, a good guy," said Glenn LaFond, the pastor of nearby Bearwallow United Methodist Church.

Active in the Kentucky Truck Pulling Association, in fact his family and friends say he worked on monster trucks in his gigantic basement. He also owned some gas wells.

"They've always been good hard working folks, all the time I've known them. Good people," said LaFond.

Relatives say Coomer, his wife, a one year old granddaughter and an employee...who would have turned 33 years old Wednesday, were at the home when it blew up...and was engulfed in flames.

"It is just a terrible tragedy," said LaFond.

While federal, state and local investigator sift through the home's remains, Lafond says his church literally opened its doors to the family and became a refuge for them.

"We are a rural area out here. Everybody is family. Everybody knows everybody," he said.

Police say it could be days before the bodies are positively identified. Police say were found inside and two outside the home.