Attempted furnace theft led to Detroit-area home explosion

September 27, 2018
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The remains of a home litter the ground following a suspected natural gas explosion, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Harper Wood, Mich. (Junfu Han /Detroit Free Press via AP)

HARPER WOODS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say an attempted furnace theft caused a natural gas leak that led to an explosion that leveled a home in suburban Detroit and injured three people.

The vacant house exploded last Friday in Harper Woods, shaking the surrounding neighborhood near Interstate 94. Dozens of area homes and businesses were evacuated as a precaution.

Michigan State Police say fire investigators determined someone attempted to steal the furnace from the home that was being sold. Natural gas built up inside.

Police say a man and woman approached the home to conduct an appraisal and the blast happened as one of them opened a door. They’re recovering from their injuries. A third person, a neighbor, was treated and released after the blast.

A criminal investigation is ongoing.

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