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8 people accounted for after explosion, fire at home in Marshall

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Posted at 10:59 AM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 18:18:58-04

MARSHALL, Mich. — Eight people were sent to the hospital after a home exploded and caught fire in Calhoun County overnight.

Investigators spent most of Monday morning and afternoon sifting through what was left of the destroyed house.

The Marshall Fire Department responded about 1:40 a.m. to the home at 532 Clinton Street, according to a news release.

Crews reported on arrival that the house was a fully involved fire with multiple injured victims outside.

"We do not suspect foul play at this time. This was most likely caused by a natural gas leak. The house was under renovation. Not sure if that is the cause of the leak or something else at this time. We’re still doing interviews with that. The house of course if you’ve been down there is a total loss. We do not have an estimate of the lost value at this time," said Chief Martin Erskine with the Marshall Fire Department.

Fire Chief Erskine said the fire started in the basement but they're still unsure where exactly it first ignited.

Eight people were in the house at the time including six adults and two children, according to officials.

Neighbor Bob Bischoff said people were trying to get out of the house when firefighters showed up.

The home was severely damaged. Fire officials said it took a lot of manpower and resources to put it out.

All of the people inside the home where able to get out but not without burns or injuries.

"When I came outside I saw everything from the house laying in the yard. There were a few small fires burning inside. People were running out of the building. There was eight of them in there," said Bob Bischoff, who lives next door to the home.

"A couple of the victims right away were transported by neighbors to help them get to the hospital. That included a 27-year-old female and her two-year-old toddler," said Chief Josh Lankerd with the Marshall Police Department.

Other victims were two 38-year old males, a 43-year-old female, a 36-year-old male, a 35-year-old female and a 10-year-old male.

Victims were transported to Oaklawn Hospital in Marhsall with the most seriously injured being taken to Bronson Methodist in Kalamazoo.

Five of the people still remain hospitalized while three have been released.

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The investigation of the fire is still ongoing.

Watch officials hold a news conference Monday afternoon: