Home explosion now homicide investigation, identity of victim not confirmed

House explosion

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - A home near Lawton exploded over the weekend and the Comanche County Sheriff says they are investigating the death of a man found inside as a homicide.

The home exploded Saturday morning and Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley said he is awaiting that medical examiners report to determine who the man was. But property records indicate the home was owned by a Lawton chiropractor named Anthony Ferrara. 7NEWS reached out to his office Monday and was told Ferrara’s family is asking for privacy right now as they wait for an official ID. But they said they are still hoping the body is not Ferrara’s.

Sheriff Stradley said at 6:42 a.m. Saturday dispatchers sent out a call that a house was on fire and had possibly exploded. Crews from the Lawton Fire Department and Flower Mound Volunteer Fire Department arrived on scene to put the blaze out. As they were doing that, the investigation changed.

“At first, we thought we just had a fire and now it’s moved up to a body inside the house. We’re working on that right now. We do think we know who it is. We sent the body to a medical examiner in Oklahoma City and now were working on dental and other things to find out if it is who we think it is,” Stradley said.

Stradley said the medical examiner will be able to let them know if the body belongs to Ferrara or not. But they also hope it will help them determine what caused the home to explode.

"We see it every once in a while when we have a meth lab in a house. We did not have a meth lab in this house. Sometimes when you have a propane leak you see that, we did not have propane to this house. It was an all-electric house, but the electricity had been turned off. So we just are going by, after we eliminated all those things, now we’re looking into if somebody set it on fire,” Stradley said.

While they wait for the medical examiner’s report, Stradley said they will continue to investigate the case as a homicide, even if it turns out not to be.

"If you just work it like it’s something like someone passed away, you might miss something. But if you start working it like a homicide, you do a really thorough job of finding out what happened and what’s going on,” Stradley said.

Sheriff Stradley asks anyone who has any information about the case to call his office.

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