WASHINGTON — Three days after a home in Rockville, Maryland, exploded and burst into flames in the middle of the night, police and fire officials are still working to determine the cause of the blast, which killed one person and damaged several nearby homes.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer said investigators Monday were sifting through multiple dumpsters full of forensic evidence recovered from scene of the blast.
Over the weekend, Montgomery County authorities recovered the remains of an adult and a pet from the wreckage of the Ashley Drive home, but were unable to determine if the remains belonged to the homeowner who remains unaccounted for.
Montgomery County Police Cpl. Rebecca Innocenti told WTOP Monday the department’s major crimes investigators are waiting on the medical examiner’s findings to identify the remains of the body and the cause of the death. Depending on how the still-unidentified person died, Innocenti said that will determine if police proceed with a homicide investigation.
The single-story brick home, which was in foreclosure, exploded at about 1 a.m. Friday — just hours before it was set to go up for auction. Authorities said last week there had been unauthorized gas use in the home since December, but investigators do no yet know whether that was the cause of the explosion.
Meanwhile, Piringer said fire officials plan to hold a community meeting to provide neighbors of any update to the investigation. The blast, which reportedly was heard miles away, damaged 10 nearby homes and nine cars.