One dead, child missing after Michigan fire

November 23, 2021
Emergency personnel are shown at the scene of a fire and explosion at a home in Flint, Mich., Monday night, Nov. 22, 2021. Three people were missing following the fire and explosion, authorities said.
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At least one person died and a 3-year-old child was missing after a house fire and explosion in Flint, Michigan, on Monday night, authorities said. 

Flint Fire Chief Raymond Barton said Tuesday that two people were rushed from the scene Monday night to area hospitals, where one of them — a 70-year-old man — was pronounced dead. The father of the missing child was in critical condition, Barton said.

Another person reported minor injuries following the explosion, which destroyed three homes and damaged more than a dozen others in the neighborhood on Flint’s west side, WJRT-TV reported.

Barton said a Michigan State Police cadaver dog and fire crews with specialized equipment were searching for the 3-year-old.

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Emergency responders were called to the scene around 9:30 p.m. Monday after reports came in of people possibly being trapped inside a home. 

Fire Department Battalion Chief Ramsey Clapper told WEYI-TV that three nearby homes were damaged, and there were reports the explosion was felt miles away. A shed and vehicle were also reported to be ablaze, per the Flint Journal. 

Most of the flames had been extinguished by late Monday, local station WJRT-TV reported. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Consumers Energy spokesman Brian Wheeler said the utility received a call about 9:40 p.m. Monday about the house explosion and crews sent to the scene shut off natural gas and electric service to seven homes, including three that he said were destroyed by the blast.

Wheeler said Tuesday morning that the utility found no evidence of gas leaks or other issues with Consumers Energy’s gas system that runs to the house that exploded. He said the utility is working with local authorities to investigate the explosion.

Contributing: Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY; The Associated Press. 

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