'Tragic day' as New Hampshire house explosion kills woman, injures child

April 4 (UPI) -- A woman is dead and a child injured following a house explosion in New Hampshire Thursday, officials said.

The call came in at about 11:45 a.m. local time for a house explosion on Goodhue Road in Derry in southern New Hampshire. Firefighters arrived on scene to find a fully engulfed house.


Officials said the woman and child, who were related, were the only people in the house.

"It certainly is a tragic day," Derry Fire Chief Shawn Haggart said. "I'm very proud of all the responders here today and their actions and how they handled this today. I would ask that everybody keep the family in their thoughts as we process this tragedy."

The child was taken to a Boston hospital and was expected to survive, authorities said. An elderly woman was found dead in the home, according to New Hampshire State Fire Marshal Sean Toomey.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation, but fire officials reported no indications of foul play or criminal activity, and no neighboring houses were damaged or threatened, they said.


The weather made battling the blaze hard for firefighters. They worked through heavy snow and wind that were part of a weather front battering the East Coast.

"Crews were hampered by the obvious weather conditions," Derry F.D. Battalion Chief Ron Sebastian said.

Homeowner John Giso told NBC10 Boston his mother-in-law and 11-year-old daughter were home at the time. His wife told him they were looking out a window and saw a tree fall and hit the house where the explosion occurred.

"The tree is on the propane tanks. It may be the cause, it's one of the things we're looking at," Toomey said.

"My daughter ran out of the house, one of the neighbors had stopped and she called my wife," Giso said. "Right now my daughter is OK, she has some burns to her face."

Authorities will rely on the State Medical Examiner's Office to determine cause of death.

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