The bodies of 42-year-old Gary Morris, 33-year-old Nerissa Distin and their 2-year-old daughter Serina Morris were found Wednesday night after their home exploded.
The Columbus Division of Police are now saying the woman and young girl’s deaths are homicides, our media partner 10TV in Columbus reported.
Crews were called around 7:25 p.m. to the home in the 3300 block of Retriever Road. All three were in the same area of the home when it exploded.
Neighbors told 10TV they heard at least two loud booms. Then immediately, flames were pouring from the house.
“When I came out me and my mom saw big old flames and we took off running trying to hurry up. There was nothing we could do,” said Donovan Britford. “It looks like somebody threw a grenade.”
Columbus firefighters were at the home and putting water on the fire within 5 minutes.
With the intensity of the fire, they say it was clear there would be no survivors.
On Thursday, the Columbus Division of Fire said at least one of the deaths was not related to the fire.
A preliminary investigation by police determined the deaths of Destin and Serina to be homicides and the actions of Morris resulted in his own death.
Distin worked as a nurse at Mt. Carmel Rehabilitation Hospital in Westerville. Family members said the couple both immigrated from Jamaica and became U.S. citizens.
Two other children who lived in the home are safe.
Police did not provide any other details and the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Columbus Police Homicide Unit at (614) 645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at (614) 461-TIPS.
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