BOWIE COUNTY, Texas (KSLA) — Three people are dead after a shop building in East Texas exploded Tuesday evening, officials say.
Dispatchers got the call around 7:45 p.m. Nov. 2 regarding a blaze on Bowie County Road 4242. Fire crews arrived to find a shop building on fire and indications that an explosion had ignited it.
As firefighters began extinguishing the blaze, three Simms, Texas residents — 60-year-old Steven Granbery, 55-year-old Cynthia Granbery and 65-year-old William Barnes — were found dead. The Granburys owned the property where the explosion and fire occurred.
“Judge Mary Hankins ordered all three victims to be sent off for an autopsy. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. There was no evidence of foul play found at the scene of this fire.”Bowie County Sheriff’s Office
The victims’ bodies have been sent to Dallas for autopsy.
Volunteer firefighters from DeKalb, Simms, New Boston and Maud and Bowie County sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene. As of now, investigators say they do not expect foul play.
“They [the Granburys] were inside the building when the explosion occurred. They had a wood heater in there. From what we are being told, they did have a fire in the heater,” explained Scottie Taylor, fire marshal.
“We are looking at several options at this time. We are looking at propane appliances, bottles. There was gasoline in the building. Looking at the gas items in there, trying to find out what exploded at this time.”
Family members of the victims did not want to talk on camera but told KSLA News 12 that the location was a popular hangout for many residents in the area. They said the Granburys were very generous neighbors.