10 residents seeking permanent housing after Middletown apartment explosion

Middletown police and fire officials are continuing to investigate the cause of the explosion Monday morning that severely damaged several apartments in a Butler County Metropolitan Housing Authority (BMHA) property on Cribbs Avenue. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Middletown police and fire officials are continuing to investigate the cause of the explosion Monday morning that severely damaged several apartments in a Butler County Metropolitan Housing Authority (BMHA) property on Cribbs Avenue. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Multiple Butler County Metropolitan Housing Authority apartments on Cribbs Avenue have been condemned by the City of Middletown after an explosion Monday morning severely damaged several units, according to a Middletown official.

The six-unit apartment in the Townhomes West complex is uninhabitable, according to a release from the BMHA.

The City of Middletown will notify BMHA it must demolish or rebuild the structure, according to an official.

Ben Jones, executive director of the BMHA, said he “hasn’t thought that far ahead” regarding plans for the 44-year-old apartment building. He said his focus is on finding the 10 displaced residents permanent housing. They are being assisted by the Butler County American Red Cross.

He said the BMHA takes the “safety and security” of its residents and staff seriously, and after a cause is determined, it will put in necessary preventative measures going forward.

There are six apartments in the building and one of them was vacant, Jones said. One resident on Monday said she believed the explosion originated in the vacant apartment, but Jones was unsure, saying he wanted to wait until the investigation was complete.

Two Middletown fire officials were on the scene Tuesday morning continuing their investigation into the cause of the explosion that injured one resident, ripped off the roof and sent flying debris into the parking lot severely damaging at least two parked vehicles.

One female resident was treated at Atrium Medical Center, according to fire officials.

Assistant Fire Chief Tom Snively said it was “very fortunate” no one was seriously injured or killed in the incident.

Snively called the incident an “obvious explosion” but did not specify what caused it and said the investigation could take “some time.”

Four calls were made to Middletown 911 operators Monday morning. One caller said he saw smoke coming from the area, and another caller said the apartment “was totally gone.”