Lowell Man Dies in House Explosion

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September 10, 2013 — Investigators are looking for the cause of a house explosion that killed a 43-year-old Lowell man last night. The body of Victor Strain was found in the basement of the residence in the 100 block of 181st street where the explosion occured at about 7:30.  The flames then spread to an empty home next door.

Crown Point Resident, Wayne Neeley says, “All of a sudden, I heard a loud explosion, I thought, a bomb went off close to our house.” Lowell Resident, Wayne Greer says, “I seen a big flash and I didn’t know what it was, it was behind us so we just kept going.”

Greer says he kept driving but worried all night about what he saw in his review mirror, so he says he returned to the scene first thing this morning.

Lowell Resident, Wayne Greer continues, “This morning, I figure I’d come down and see, if it was my friend’s home, somebody I grew up with.”

And in fact, it was.  The home belonging to the father his friend Mike Hardiman had caught fire when the home next to it exploded last night.  Lowell Resident, Wayne Greer goes on to say, “Come to find out they were not home, thank God, I’m just making sure this old fellow and his son were still with us.”

The son of the man’s home destroyed by the fire, Mike Hardiman says, “It’s somewhat devastating but, everybody in my family is okay, it’s unfortunate that the gentleman on the east side of the house passed away.”

Hardiman is talking about Victor Strain, a 43-year old neighbor who was killed in the blast when he entered his neighbor’s home to check on it in the neighbor’s absence. Residents say they heard Strain went into the home because he smelled gas and wanted to help.  Crown Point Resident, Wayne Neeley says, “Evidently he was a neighbor they said, that’s too bad, the owner was in a nursing home so no one was home- so thank God for that, but unfortunately there was one fatally, all we can do is just pray for him.”

As investigators pour over the debris looking for the cause, Greer is in his dad’s home searching for family values he can save.  Authorities say it may take weeks before they can determine the cause of the explosion.


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