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'It’s tragic, it’s devastating': 1 dead in home explosion in Jefferson County

Video shows a landscape of debris, with nothing of the structure remaining.
Posted at 4:16 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 18:04:02-04

JEFFERSON COUNTY — One person is confirmed dead after a home exploded in the Town of Rome in Jefferson County Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

Officials said at a press conference that state fire marshals arrived to conduct an investigation. The explosion happened on Water Street in Rome around 1:48 p.m., officials said.

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The Rome Fire Department said they will be temporarily out of service until Wednesday, July 28 at 4 p.m., "as we grieve the loss of a former chief of the department. Our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers go out to the family as they deal with the devastation that happened today."

On Wednesday, family identified the victim as Mike Revolinski.

"Thank you to the departments that will be covering Rome's district for the remainder of the evening and for the day tomorrow," according to a social media post from the department.

Earlier in the day, crews went around the neighborhood to ensure other neighbors were safe. So far, no other injuries have been reported, but other homes were damaged, including broken windows and outside damage.

Crews evacuated a square mile around the home before gas was turned off to home and area.

Video from TMJ4 News crews on Water Street shows a landscape of debris, with nothing of the structure remaining.

Officials also expressed their condolences to the family of the person who died, as well as the community, during a press briefing.

"It’s tragic, it’s devastating," said Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Jeffrey Parker.

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Family says the victim is Mike Revolinski. The Rome Fire Department said in a statement after the explosion Tuesday that they briefly shut down service "as we grieve the loss of a former chief of the department. Our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers go out to the family as they deal with the devastation that happened."

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Wednesday that crews were called to a home on West Water Street around 1:49 p.m. Tuesday for a home explosion.

Initial callers said the home had been completely destroyed in the explosion, that they could smell natural gas and that flames were coming from the home's field of debris.

Arriving on scene, crews evacuated nearby residents. No one else was injured in the explosion, crews discovered.

Deputies reported "a very large debris field" and that the home had been "leveled by the explosion."

Other nearby homes also received damage, including marks on the side of the structures and broken windows.

WE Energies shut off the natural gas to the home, allowing firefighters to extinguish remaining flames. Crews then found one deceased person where the house used to stand.

The State Fire Marshals were called into investigate the incident.

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Neighbors who were home at the time of the blast say they were scared.

"All I hear is this big boom, and at first I think, earthquake," said Carissa Schaub, who lives blocks away. "I see nothing. I go outside, all the neighbors are gathering together."

Early Tuesday evening, TMJ4 News crews witnessed dozens of neighbors helping clean up the debris in yards across the street from the home.

"They’ll be here throughout this tragedy helping each other, not only taking care of one another as family, to help those who have just lost somebody close to them," Chief Deputy Parker said. "They’ll be here to help clean up and take care of one another to those that have been affected through the explosion."

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office released the following statement:

"For those residents who have been displaced due to the home explosion on Water St in Rome, Jefferson County the Sullivan Community Center located at N3866 West St, Sullivan/Rome will be open for use.

The Red Cross will be sending a team to that location to assist families affected by this tragedy."

We Energies reported dozens of people were without power in the area.

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