By Ava-joye Burnett

TANEYTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — State fire officials are trying to figure out what caused a house to explode in Caroll County, killing two people inside.

Investigators says they found hoarding conditions inside the home, which reportedly hampered investigators’ ability to access the home in certain areas.

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The bodies were found hours after the Taneytown home was leveled by the blast and the fire.

The explosion happened early Friday morning, and by the end of the day, two bodies were found.

Courtesy: Office of the State Fire Marshall

By the time the sun rose, neighbors came out to total devastation.

“It was unbelievable. I mean, how does a house just blow up?” says Darlene Clapp, Taneytown neighbor.

The two bodies were found in the rubble in the front of the home, where the master bedroom once stood.

Right now, investigators do not know what caused the explosion, especially with a home that did not use gas.

“So that’s kind of puzzling for us, what caused this explosion to occur. Is there some other foreign material in the house, was there gasoline in the house, was there propane tank in the house possibly?” says State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci.

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 “The owner was a retired welder,” says Sr. Dep. Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire.

Fire officials say the power of the explosion caused the walls to blow out and the first floor fell into the basement.

An elderly couple lived in the home, but the victims have not been identified.

“Horrible. My boyfriend knew of the man, he knew it was a man and woman there,” says Clapp.

The victim’s bodies have been taken to the medical examiner’s office. They may be identified sometime this weekend.

The ATF and Fire Marshal’s office are investigating. The fire marshal says crews will continue working this weekend to determine a cause.


Nine people have died in fires in Maryland through the month of August.

Accelerant Detection Canine ‘Kachina’ assisted in the investigation.

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Ava-joye Burnett