Woman dies in explosion and house fire in Painesville

PAINESVILLE, Ohio - A 62-year-old retired teacher died after a gas explosion and fire at her house in Painesville early Tuesday morning.

Firefighters found the body of the woman who died in the fire at 888 Homewood Dr., and the coroner was called to the scene around 6:20 a.m., according to the Painesville Fire Department.

The woman's identity has not yet been released because police say she has no family in Ohio and they are trying to notify out of state relatives. Neighbors said the woman was a wonderful person who loved to garden and feed the birds in her yard, where there was even a small green house.

The fire destroyed the house and dispatchers received numerous calls about the blaze around 5 a.m. Several trucks from the Painesville Fire Department responded to the scene.

Fire officials said preliminarily, it appears a gas leak triggered a gas explosion. The issue appears to be isolated to just this one house. While Dominion East Ohio Gas is assisting in the investigation, as recently as Friday, a plumbing company was working on a sewer line close to the gas line. No official cause has been released.

Neighbors told NewsChannel5 that they heard a loud noise come from the house just before 5 a.m., which they initially thought was thunder.

Investigators told NewsChannel5 that the home's gas line was inspected as recently as May 2010 and no leaks or problems were found.

Part of the home collapsed and heat from the fire melted the vinyl siding on the house next door.

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