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LENOIR

4 dead after apparent explosion at Lenoir home

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Four people died after a possible explosion Wednesday morning at a home in Lenoir.

Four people were found dead from apparent gunshot wounds after a possible explosion Wednesday morning at a home in Lenoir.

Lenoir firefighters, police and first responders were called around 9:30 a.m. to 1226 Laurel Place NW in Lenoir, according to a release from the Lenoir Police Department.

Responders found a large fire in the home upon arrival, the release said. Once the flames were extinguished, they found four people dead from apparent gunshot wounds inside the home.

The victims’ names have not been released, but Lenoir police did confirm that a 58-year-old man, 18-year-old woman, 15-year-old girl and 29-year-old man were found dead.

Police said no suspects are being sought at this time.

Lisa Price, a neighbor, called 911 and reported hearing gunshots and an explosion at the home.

“We heard what sounded like two or three gunshots, so we just turned down to look up the road to make sure, like, everything was OK, to see if we saw anything, and then it looked like the roof of the house almost lifted for a second,” Price said. “A huge plume of, like, white smoke shot out of the right side of the house.”

She said not even a minute before the first responder got to the scene, another explosion rattled the left side of the house and she could see flames coming from the left side of the house under the carport.

WSOC’s Dave Faherty spoke with responders on scene.

“We do have some structural damage,” Lenoir Fire Chief Ken Hair told Faherty. “It’s blown insulation out of the attic and we’ve had some significant damage to the basement.”

Three bodies were found on the main level of the home and one was found near the carport, sources told Faherty.

Price said a family of five lived in the home, but that one of the family members was at a doctor’s appointment when the explosion happened.

Faherty spoke to Mary Ellen Foster, an aunt to the family, who said there were oxygen tanks in the home but it’s not yet clear whether those tanks contributed to the damage.

Agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation along with local law enforcement agents still were on the scene Wednesday afternoon.

Sydni Hall is a staff writer and can be reached at 828-432-8907 or at shall@morganton.com.

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