VERMILION — The Erie County Sheriff’s office is reporting that a man discovered hiding in a vacant house in 3900 block of state Route 60 in Wakeman Township is being held in connection with a explosion and fire that destroyed a house on Darrow Road this morning.
Authorities are saying Kenneth Karnow was found hiding in the closet of a vacant house in Wakeman Township. He is being held in connection with a gas explosion and fire that destroyed a house in Vermilion Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019.
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Kenneth Karnow, 56, was found hiding in a closet, Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said.
Sigsworth said a deputy was called at about 3:30 a.m. for a crash to a home at 15319 Darrow Road where a silver SUV hit the home. The car was traveling east on Darrow Road when it lost control, hitting the house. The driver was not identified and left the area before authorities arrived.
There were no serious injuries reported.
Property records list the owners as Tracy and Jennifer Haslage.
The gas line break caused an explosion within 20 minutes of the crash. By then all the occupants were out of the house, officials said. The explosion threw the deputy, who was in front of the the home, several feet back and blew windows from his cruiser.
The home was heavily damaged by the blast and destroyed by the subsequent fire.
Vermilion Township Fire and Vermilion City Police as well as the Ohio State Highway Patrol assisted in the incident.
One family pet was located at the Holiday Inn Express near state Route 60.
Search parties of at least a dozen concerned community members and neighbors assisted the family in a search for the second missing dog named Vito, a gray mastiff. Volunteers brought dog food and other supplies for the dog when he was found. Many went to the woods behind the home to look for Vito finding many deer, rabbit and raccoon prints, but no signs of dog until the family posted that Vito had been found on Facebook at around 2 p.m.
Sigsworth said he was thankful that all are accounted for after the explosion.
“We are very grateful for that, it’s a very sad situation for the Haslage family with their house being destroyed,” he said. “But it’s very fortunate no one was injured as a result of this and hats off to everybody who assisted with us today.”
Sigsworth said charges for Karnow will most likely be filed by the end of the evening.
This is a developing story.