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Fireworks blast guts home near Andrews

Officials are blaming an explosion that destroyed a house Tuesday near Andrews on a man’s effort to make fireworks in his basement.

The explosion knocked the house off its foundation in two places and blew out the basement’s concrete-block wall, said Chief Tom Wuensch of the Andrews Dallas Township Fire Department.

“The house isn’t livable,” Wuensch said. “All their personal property was pretty much tore up or destroyed.”

Shortly after 4 a.m., firefighters were dispatched to the house on Huntington County Road North 825 West, just north of Andrews.

The man and his wife were home when the explosion occurred, but they were not injured. After hearing the blast, the man went into the basement where he extinguished some small fires before firefighters arrived, Wuensch said.

The man had been using a device to grind aluminum into a fine dust, with the intent to make fireworks. He told fire officials he suspected static electricity triggered the explosion.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the matter and determined that no laws had been broken.

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