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4-Year-Old Girl, Woman Killed In Flint House Explosion

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A 55-year-old woman and a 4-year-old girl were killed in an explosion and fire that destroyed and damaged several homes in Flint.

On Monday, Nov. 22, when firefighters arrived at the scene, three houses were fully engulfed in flames.

Officials said around 20 houses sustained damage, including broken windows from debris thrown across an entire block by the explosion, which was felt miles away.

In a news conference on Tuesday, Nov. 23, authorities reported that they found the 4-year-old girl's body in the rubble of her home.

Flint Fire Chief Raymond Barton said a Michigan State Police cadaver dog and fire crews with specialized equipment discovered her body.

"This is a tragic time for our community," Mayor Sheldon Neeley said Tuesday morning.

Neeley said all 17 of the homes on the block were evacuated, and the cause of the explosion is under investigation.

It was initially reported that the missing girl was 3-years-old and that another person who died in a neighboring home was a 70-year-old man, but they provided corrected information at the news conference, according to WJRT-TV. 

The 55-year-old woman, who lived in a neighboring house, died at a hospital.

Barton said a man who is believed to be the girl's father is in critical condition, and a woman who is believed to be the girl's mother suffered from burns, but her injuries are not life-threatening.

Neeley said Tuesday afternoon that all residents have been accounted for.

Aisha Lott, who lives nearby, said she felt an explosion, and the blast rocked her house.

"It was like a really loud boom, and my house shook," she said.

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 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.

"Our thoughts this morning go to the residents of this neighborhood and their loved ones," the utility said in a statement.

© 2021 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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