One dead, One injured in home explosion southwest of Toledo

LIBERTY CENTER, Ohio - An explosion leveled a home in northwest Ohio on Wednesday, killing a woman and injuring a man and spreading debris around a quarter-mile area, a sheriff said, and a gas leak was the suspected cause.

But authorities were still investigating, Henry County Sheriff Michael Bodenbender said in a release Wednesday.

The explosion occurred around 7:30 a.m. in Liberty Township, about 30 miles southwest of Toledo.

"It looked like the house got hit by a tornado, although you can tell it's an explosion from the debris field," said Tracy Busch, director of the Henry County Emergency Management Agency. "There's just nothing left."

Bodenbender said Judy Garwood, 63, of rural Holgate was killed and Steven Collins, 72, was injured. Collins was in fair condition Wednesday, a spokeswoman at Mercy St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo said.

No other injuries were reported, but homes on either side of the house had structural damage and their residents were evacuated, Busch said. He said those homes appeared to have been shifted from their foundations.

WTOL-TV in Toledo reported that neighbor Jean Sonnenberg said she heard a big boom.

"Stuff starts flying," she said. "And I thought we had been hit by a plane."

Wednesday's explosion comes about a week after another house explosion in northwest Ohio killed two people and injured three.

Investigators were looking into whether a leaking liquid propane tank caused the Sept. 17 fire in Troy Township near the village of Stony Ridge, about 15 miles south of Toledo.

One man died after being taken to a hospital, and the body of a woman was found in the rubble about six hours after that explosion.

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