110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Neighbors reported explosion before blaze
By Jen Horton
posted Nov 1, 2013 - 12:19:13pm
UPDATED 3:24 p.m.
Christian Ryland lives on East Rich Avenue.
"I was inside when I heard the explosion," he said. "It shook the house. At first I thought something fell on the house."
Ryland ran outside, and saw the smoke. He called 911 and then ran over to East Indiana Avenue to get an address for the dispatch operator. He said the address of the fire was 613 East Indiana Avenue.
"I pounded on the door and nobody answered," Ryland said.
As he headed back home a group of East Indiana Avenue residents told him there may be an older man in the home.
"Me and a couple of people ran back to the house and I kicked the door open," Ryland said.
The man appeared from around the side yard.
"He was worried about his cats," Ryland said. "I kicked open the front door, but I'm not sure about the cats."
UPDATED 2:14 P.M.: A man injured today in the house fire on East Indiana Avenue in DeLand has been identified by authorities as George Stokes, 65. He was taken to the Orlando Regional Medical Center, the DeLand Police Department said, but no further information was available about his condition.
The fire started just before noon today, Nov. 1, with what neighbors reported was an explosion that shook other homes in the vicinity.
UPDATED 1:21 p.m.: Police have not confirmed that an explosion started a structure fire in the area of East Rich Avenue in DeLand, but residents who live on the street claim they not only heard, but felt an explosion.
A staff member at Doyle Appraisal Services, about a block away at 555 E. New York Ave., said workers there heard an explosion, then saw smoke.
"It shook the building," she said
Kimberly DeLoach and her husband live at 609 E. East Rich Ave.
"My husband was at home and he heard the explosions," DeLoach said. "He said there was one big explosion, and several smaller ones. He said it shook the windows."
DeLoach is positive there was an explosion.
"I was two blocks away when I heard it," she said. "I heard one large explosion. It was so big that I felt it in my chest."
She said the address first reported as that of the home on fire was not accurate, that the burning home was on Indiana, not Rich, avenue.
"People were calling me and asking if I was OK," DeLoach said. "I ran outside and checked to make sure none of my neighbor's homes were on fire. It's definitely on Indiana Avenue."
DeLoach said her neighbor ran to the burning home on Indiana Avenue and kicked down the door to try to help the older man inside, who reportedly was trying to save his cat.
"The old man told my neighbor that it was a propane tank," DeLoach said.
Authorities have not yet confirmed the origin of the fire.
* * *
UPDATED 12:37 p.m.
The DeLand Fire Department is currently on scene working a house fire at 616 E. Rich Ave., DeLand.
There were reports that there may have been an explosion that preceded the fire. This has not been confirmed and the actual cause of the fire has not been determined. Fire personnel will investigate the cause once the fire has been extinguished. There are police on scene handling traffic control.
One individual at the residence was injured and is being flown to a medical facility. The patient's name and condition is unknown at this time.
There is no additional information available. I’ll will send an update when more is known.
* * *
One individual at the residence was injured and is being flown to a medical facility. The patience’s name and condition is unknown at this time.
There is a structure fire in the area of East Rich Avenue and Kentucky Avenue in DeLand.
People in the area of the fire reported hearing an explosion at about 11:45 a.m.
Emergency responders are at the scene.
No other information is available at this time.
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