(Updated at 6:50 p.m. Saturday) ROCKVILLE, MD — Search crews at the scene of a Rockville home that exploded found a body of an adult and an animal, authorities said at a Saturday briefing. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death and whether the victim is the resident missing from the Randolph Hills fire, say Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services officials.
Utilities were reportedly turned off to the house, which was in foreclosure and about to be sold, according to media reports.
The house on Ashley Drive near Grayling Lane exploded and burned shortly before 1 a.m. Friday, said fire department spokesman Pete Piringer. When firefighters arrived at the scene, the house at 11422 Ashley Drive was destroyed and debris was scattered throughout the neighborhood. About a dozen nearby homes were damaged by the blast.
Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said at a news conference Saturday that the body was found about noon Friday and has been sent to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Montgomery Community Media reports. Goldstein said the body could not now be identified as the home’s owner.
A relative of the home’s owner was contacted to let them know a body had been found, Goldstein said.
In all, ten homes and nine vehicles were damaged by the blast and flying debris. One home is now unsafe to occupy and the family has been displaced.
WTOP reports the home was in foreclosure and was supposed to be sold at auction on Friday afternoon, according to an auction listing on RealtyTrac.com.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have joined the investigation.
Within 20 minutes, Montgomery County firefighters extinguished the blaze. Investigators are now at the scene to determine the cause of the explosion.
Officials have not released the name of the missing resident.
No other injuries were reported by neighbors or firefighters.
»Video and photos courtesy of Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services
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