Girl dead, 3 hurt in Oklahoma house explosion

Mike Seals - September 25, 2020 10:43 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A girl was killed and her parents and brother were injured when their home in Oklahoma City exploded Thursday morning, fire officials said.

The coroner has identified the girl as Berklee Maguire, 14. Her parents and brother were hospitalized with burns, said District Fire Chief Benny Fulkerson.

The explosion occurred just before 7 a.m. in northeast Oklahoma City and destroyed the home while also damaging at least three nearby houses, Fulkerson said.

Neighbor Patti Wommer said Shawn Maguire, the girl’s father said he plugged in a coffee pot, received a shock and the house exploded.

“We heard Shawn, the dad crying because he couldn’t find his family and he couldn’t see. We helped him through the street. Another neighbor helped the mother, the wife. And another neighbor helped the son. And then we couldn’t find the daughter,” Wommer said.

The blast may have been caused by an illegal log lighter in the fireplace, said Nicholas Nadeau, safety code enforcement officer with the Oklahoma State Liquified Petroleum Gas Administration, which is leading the investigation. The device had a faulty pilot safety shutoff and the pilot light went out, filling multiple rooms with propane gas vapor, he said.

 

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