Watch: Massive explosion levels home, catches neighboring house on fire in St. Louis

ST LOUIS, MO – An explosion leveled a residence and caught an adjacent house on fire in a north St Louis neighborhood shortly before 11 p.m. on September 8th.

No one was injured in the spectacular explosion, which was caught on a neighbor’s video surveillance system in the 1100 block of Newhouse Avenue in Hyde Park. 

Firefighters from the St. Louis Fire Department responded to the scene about 10:45 p.m. and found the two-story residence destroyed.  It and the neighboring brick house, which was heavily damaged, were still on fire.

The one person home at the time in the second residence was able to escape unharmed.

The St Louis Fire Department tweeted:

“Companies remain on the scene of the home #explosion.  Window casings, bricks and a portable A/C unit violently ejected during the explosion.  @spire_energy on the scene working to secure the #naturalgas shutoff.  @STLFireDept K-9 Search & Rescue standing by to search.”

The tweet from the fire department  included video of the aftermath of the explosion.  Smoke and debris were all that remained where the house once stood. 

Thankfully, the people who had lived at the residence were not there but at a new residence into which they are moving.  Rochelle Merollis told KSDK news that she, her fiancé and baby were spending the night in their new home and learned from a friend about the explosion, who saw it on the news.  She said:

“I have a 1-year-old baby . . . I just can’t imagine if we were in the house.  I had no idea the magnitude of what happened here until I pulled up.”

Merollis advised she does not know what could have caused the explosion and fire at the residence.  She said:

“I’m just so thankful no one was hurt.  I know our neighbor has children as well, so I’m just really thankful no one was hurt.  That’s the biggest thing.”

Verneta Haughton, the neighbor whose house caught on fire after the explosion, told KSDK that she was sleeping when she heard the loud explosion.  She noticed that her security cameras were not working and stepped outside to investigate.  Haughton said she almost fell because her back porch was blown away in the blast.  She said:

“Thank God I made it outside because I couldn’t get back in to get anything.”

Haughton told the news outlet that she had lost all of her belongings in the house when it caught fire.  Although she lost everything, she is thankful her three children were not home at the time.

A neighbor of Haughton’s, who was not named, said:

“She’s [Haughton] working too hard to do the right thing, I’ve seen it that’s why I am here for her.  I want to see her in a stable place and make sure she is okay. 

“Let’s not let this be another storyline where we forget about her.  I know there are other things going on in our metropolitan region and we have so much to deal with, but this family deserves this [help].”

Haughton started a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising money to help her offset the costs associated with losing all of her personal property.  In the post, she says in part:

“I’m a single mother of three sons and never thought our home would be gone so soon.  Never would I imagine that in less than 10 mins I would lose everything.  I was a victim of a massive fire and explosion that was due to negligence in an area that is supposed to be in the midst of positive change.

“I have nothing left but the clothes on my back but what hurts more is that everything I had for my children is now gone.  I am a homeowner who worked hard to show my sons the value of home ownership and what it means to love your community and be a great neighbor.

 “We are our neighbor’s keeper.  If you find it in your heart to donate to my family I want to say Thank you for being a Blessing to us.  If you cannot give, please promise to be a good neighbor and pillar of your community.”

As of now, there is no indication as to what caused the residence to explode.  Fire investigators will continue their investigation to determine the cause. 

Watch: Woman breaks car window, dumps gas into backseat, lights car on fire – gets caught in explosion

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, MI– Authorities of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department have arrested a 26-year-old woman who allegedly set fire to a vehicle.

On Friday, Sydney Parham was arraigned on a charge of third-degree arson. According to authorities, the incident took place on Wednesday, July 22nd at approximately 8 a.m. Deputies were dispatched to the San Remo Apartments on Union Lake road for a vehicle that was on fire. 

Once on scene, deputies located the vehicle, which was a black Jeep fully engulfed in flames. Harrison Township firefighters also responded to the scene and successfully extinguished the blaze. According to the media crime report, no persons, other than the alleged responsible female party, were near the Jeep during the time of the fire.

According to The Detroit News, a video was taken of the crime and posted to YouTube. In the video, a person is seen breaking the backseat window and dumping gasoline in the back of the Jeep prior to throwing a lit match into the vehicle. When the car lit on fire, the explosion threw the individual back into a nearby vehicle.

At first, Parham low crawled away, but then seconds later rushes back to grab the gas can and other items that were used to break the car window and set the car on fire.

In addition to the video that went viral, deputies spoke with several witnesses and were able to then identify the suspect. Witnesses at the scene told the deputies and firefighters that the woman in the video was Parham and that she knew the owner of the vehicle. 

Investigators were able to locate Parham when she was leaving her residence in vehicle that had matched the description of the suspect’s car. She also matched the description given by witnesses and from what they saw in the video.

According to Local 4 News, the owner of the vehicle that was set on fire is Avery Stevenson. He claims that he knows Parham, but does not know her motive for setting his vehicle on fire. He also said that she is not his girlfriend.

Stevenson took a video of what his car looked like after the fire was put out. His jeep was 3 months old.

Naya Ashford, who lives in the apartment complex said that when she saw the video on social media, she did not realize that the incident happened right outside. Her car only had an ash mark on it, but other vehicle owner’s were not as lucky. The flames ended up melting two cars.

Parham was stopped in Roseville and taken into custody by the Roseville Police Department. She was then transferred to the Macomb County Jail. While at the jail, she was medically evaluated and treated for minor cuts and burns.

Parham was arraigned in the 41B District Court of Clinton Township on July 24th. She was given a $20,000 personal bond and is scheduled to return back to court on August 5th. 

Her lawyer, Vassal Johnson II said in a statement:

“She’s presumed innocent unless proven guilty, like the court said.”
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Here’s another arson incident. This time, the suspect is facing federal charges for torching police cars.

 The feds aren’t messing around – and if local prosecutors won’t go after the criminals… they will.

On May 30, Black Lives Protestors gathered in the streets of Rochester to protest the killing of George Floyd and police operations as we know it. They protested to “Defund the Police” and End Police Brutality.

The march and protest started out peaceful. But later in the day into the evening chaos was unleashed. Police cars were vandalized, tear gas deployed, cars lit on fire, looting and more vandalism ensued. The BLM protest route was from Exchange Blvd. down Main St. to Fitzhugh St.

The U. S. Attorney’s Office commented on July 7 in a press release at 12:22pm, that those responsible for the crimes committed would be held accountable. James Kennedy, United States attorney for the Western District of New York said:

“I think the message needs to be sent loud and clear that if you engage in this lawless behavior you will be prosecuted not only by the state authorities, if they deem appropriate, but also the federal authorities.”


 

Four protestors are facing federal arson charges from the violent crimes they committed at the Black Lives Matter protest on May 30 in Rochester. The names were released:

Dyshika McFadden, 26, and Miguel Ramos, 19 are charged with conspiracy to commit arson and arson for setting a Rochester police car on fire. Both are residents of Rochester.

Mackenzie Dreschsler, 19 of Ontario, Wayne County, is being accused of burning two vehicles, both of which belonged to the State Attorney General’s Office.   

Marquis, 27 of Rochester, is being charged with using a Molotov cocktail to burn down a mobile construction trailer near the public safety building.

These charges amount to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for each protestor.

Five protestors suffered injuries that were not life-threatening. Despite the violence concerned community members such as Stan P showed up Sunday morning, July 1, to clean up the area. Many community members were upset and disheartened over the looting and the destruction. Stan P said:

“It brings tears to my eyes, not necessarily for me, but for all the kids that grow up under me. I don’t believe that this was just a looting or riot issue. This is a ‘we need help and nobody’s listening’ issue. So a lot of people are taking advantage of the situation by stealing and taking.”

This was sort of like a healing process for community members. They started to gather at 8am to clean up the streets and businesses.

Watch: Massive explosion levels home, catches neighboring house on fire in St. Louis 

Another 20 protestors from the May 30 BLM protests, have also been arrested. Other protestors flipped vehicles over across the street of the Public Safety Building.

Watch: Massive explosion levels home, catches neighboring house on fire in St. Louis

Kennedy added:

“This lawless behavior combined with the dramatic increase in shootings across all Western New York suggest that some believe that division and violence provide an acceptable path forward from the state of civil unrest. They, however, are wrong.”

The Department of Justice issued an official document on those individuals being charged with federal crimes from protests on May 30 in Rochester. The release includes an arrest from Buffalo, NY.

Other public officials commented on the protests on May 30. Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary told WROC News: “What you saw here today was chaos. Pure chaos, not a protest. What happened here today was sparked by anarchists.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo authorized 200 more New York State Police troopers to patrol the region along with the National Guard on standby. There was also a county wide curfew imposed along with additional police resources. Sunday night was relatively quiet, the total opposite of Saturday. Since May 30, BLM demonstrations have been peaceful.

Rochester Police are investigating other crimes stemming from the protests turned to civil unrest.

In the meantime, a suspected arsonist has also been arrested after torching the Minneapolis police station.

At this point, most are well-briefed on the chaos that erupted in Minneapolis on May 28th, which included the burning-down of the police station in the city.

Well, it turns out one of the suspected arsonists said to be involved in the crime has been arrested.

Police apprehended 22-year-old Dylan Robinson within the municipality of Breckenridge in Colorado on June 14th.

Sources say that the ATF, along with the U.S. Marshals, had caught up with the alleged arsonist outside of a recreation center located at 800 Airport Road at roughly 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon.

Investigators aren’t quite sure what brought the suspect to Colorado, nor did they know how long he resided within the state after his alleged participation in the burning down of the police station.

What is known is that arson-related charges to the tune of aiding and abetting have been filed against the suspect and that a court appearance transpired on June 16th.

There are still numerous suspects that the ATF is searching for, and the agency has offered a $70,000 for any information that leads to an arrest.

As for the case in general against Robinson , it appears as though many elements are being played “close to the chest” as not much information has been released at this time. 

 

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Author: Chris Elliot


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