Cause determined in Plymell house explosion

PLYMELL, Kansas – A Plymell home exploded on Saturday evening around 5:30 and the blast could be heard for miles.

“It reminded me of the sonic boom from way back, but only louder,” said neighbor John Bilberry.  “Then when I stepped outside, the sky looked like confetti.”

Three members of the Unruh family were inside their house when it exploded, killing 17-year-old Spencer.

“He was probably one of the sweetest kids, honestly that you could meet,” said his cousin Benjamin Unruh.  “He was very just generous, very kind.”

Spencer’s 14-year-old brother Riley, and their mother Kelly, were both flown to Wichita in critical condition.

The explosion is still under investigation, but the State Fire Marshal’s office, along with the Finney County Sheriff’s office, and the Garden City Fire Department, have narrowed down the cause.

“Through the investigation it was determined that the probable cause of the explosion was due to a concentration of natural gas,” said GCFD Chief Allen Shelton.

While the family mourns, the community has shown their support.

“The outpouring of emotions and prayers have been a little bit overwhelming for the family, so I’d like to express my thanks, and convey their thanks as well,” said Benjamin Unruh.

So far, they’ve received over $9,000 in donations for funeral and medical expenses through a donation site.

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