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The Latest: Fire officials say gas leak caused house blast

July 3, 2019
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Firefighters look over the wreckage following a fire and explosion at a home in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. Officials say a man who called 911 from the home after the explosion was rescued and taken by helicopter to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. (Charlotte Fire Department via AP)
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Firefighters look over the wreckage following a fire and explosion at a home in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. Officials say a man who called 911 from the home after the explosion was rescued and taken by helicopter to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. (Charlotte Fire Department via AP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on a fire and explosion at a house in North Carolina (all times local):

5:05 p.m.

Fire officials say a gas leak led to the fire and explosion that leveled a house in North Carolina, killing a woman inside.

Fire Marshal Jonathan Leonard of the Charlotte Fire Department told a news conference Wednesday that the gas leak in the home appeared to be accidental but he couldn’t provide any additional details of what happened.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police identified the woman in a report released Wednesday as 58-year-old Rania Karam.

Battalion Chief Matt Westover said it was her husband, Jebran Karam, who called 911 and later directed firefighters to where his wife was located in the shattered home after Tuesday’s blast. Jebran Karam was pulled from the rubble and taken by helicopter to a hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.

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3:56 p.m.

A woman has been found dead in the remains of a home leveled by a fire and explosion in North Carolina’s largest city.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police identified the woman in a report released Wednesday as Rania Karam, 58.

Charlotte Fire Department Battalion Chief Matt Westover told reporters that the woman’s body was found Tuesday night, nearly seven hours after the blast was reported by a man trapped in the home.

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The man was identified in the incident report as Jebran Karam, and the report lists his address as the same as the victim’s.

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