Natural gas leak believed to be cause of Middletown apartment explosion

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Crews responded to an apartment building collapse in Middletown in the 400 block of Cribbs Avenue on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Natural gas escaping from piping led to the explosion of a Middletown apartment building on Monday, officials said.

Lt. Frank Baughman, city fire marshal, said the escaped natural gas permeated the nearby apartments and that the furnace unit in apartment 422 ignited the gas, which caused the explosion about 11:30 a.m. at the Townhomes West apartment complex in the 400-block of Cribbs Avenue.

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Baughman said the incident remains under investigation but criminal activity has been ruled out.

The explosion collapsed the roof of the apartment building that shot out debris into the parking lot.

One person was transported to Atrium Medical Center. At least two vehicles parked near the apartments received major damage from the flying debris.

Police said at least five of the six apartments were affected and those residents were assisted by the Butler County Red Cross.