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Warren Fire Investigators & ATF work to determine cause of deadly house explosion

Posted at 9:00 PM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 21:00:32-04

WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ)  — Volunteers with the American Red Cross were out in Warren working to help those displaced by a deadly home explosion on Tuesday.

Firefighters say when they responded on Sunday there were five homes on fire and at least ten more damaged at the condo complex at Villa Pointe Drive near Schoenherr.

The Warren Fire Commissioner says the city has requested assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. ATF Investigators will search for evidence of any improvised explosive devices, to rule out that possibility.

Matt Prizgint pulled this picture from the wreckage of him and his dad who shares his name. Firefighters found his dad dead in the basement of his dad’s condo where the explosion happened

“He cared about everybody,” said Prizgint.

On Saturday police say a warrant had been issued for his dad for absconding parole. He was on parole for stalking and fleeing police.

Warren Police say it is a suspected suicide, but his son says he can’t imagine his dad would do anything that would harm neighbors he cared about.

“He wasn’t the type to want to hurt anybody. He would go out of his way to take care of people,” said Prizgint.

“He was a nice young man and I had invited him to go to church with me and he said one day I will go with you,” said Callie Wright, of the senior Prizgint.

Callie Wright had just walked into her home across the street from the epicenter when the explosion happened. She says she is praying for her neighbor’s family.

“I am grateful that I am alive. And I am sorry the young man lost his life,” she said.

“I know my dad and I know he wouldn’t be suicidal,” said Prizgint.

Warren Fire Commissioner Skip McAdams says there are suspicions because the smell of natural gas would have been overwhelmingly strong before such a blast and no one called 911 until after the explosion. He says they meticulously will rule out any other possibilities.

The gas meter and gas line do not appear to have malfunctioned, but they will be sent to an independent inspector. The furnace and water heater will also be carefully examined.

“They will be the final confirmation. And that will take a month, couple months, or even a year. But we will get to a final origin or cause,” said McAdams.