Crime

Couple, their 1-year-old granddaughter among 4 dead in Adair house explosion

A family member compiled photos that included victims of the Adair house blast.
A family member compiled photos that included victims of the Adair house blast. Photo provided.

State police confirmed Wednesday that four people died when a house in Adair County exploded.

Investigators found the bodies of two people in the house and two outside, according to authorities.

The four killed were identified Wednesday night as 60-year-old Mitchell Coomer; his wife, 52-year-old Lori Coomer; their granddaughter 1-year-old Kinley Rodgers; and 32-year-old Steven A. Keltner.

Mitchell and Lori Coomer are from Adair County, according to state police. Kinley Rodgers had been living in Casey County.

Mitchell Coomer’s son, Jason Coomer, 34, survived the explosion and helped investigators identify the four that died, according to state police. He had been in the basement at the other end of the house and sustained minor injuries.

The Adair County Community Voice reported Mitchell Coomer was a dairy farmer who also was in the oil and gas business and was popular on the truck-pull circuit. He owned the house.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

The blast happened about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday on M Coomer Road, about six miles west of Columbia off Ky. 206. It started a fire that had engulfed the house by the time emergency crews arrived.

Investigators and firefighters could not get into the house to begin a search until the debris cooled. The bodies were recovered Wednesday.

 

Fly high sweet angels... ❤❤️️❤️❤️ My precious mother in law Lorie, Our niece Kinley, Mitchell and also our friend Aaron.

Posted by Ashley Stephens Rodgers on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Melvin Antle, a neighbor, told the Associated Press he heard the boom.

“It was a terrible explosion,” he said. “It jarred my whole house, three-quarters of a mile away.”

Antle said he saw flames shooting from the log house. He picked up another neighbor and they drove to the farm to check on the family, whom he said he had known for 40 years.

The explosion tore off one end of the house, Antle said. It was so powerful that a flaming chunk of the house was blown onto the roof of a barn 200 feet away, he said.

Antle said he saw Jason Coomer looking desperately for his family. The son said he ran into the flames seeking his family but found no one and hoped they’d gone into town.

“It’s a bad thing to happen to anybody, especially to lose a neighbor,” Antle said. “It’s terrible, terrible.”

Federal, state and local agencies will look into the cause of the explosion, said trooper Billy Gregory, spokesman for Kentucky State Police.

State police requested assistance from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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