Family believes work on clogged sink led to KCMO house explosion, leaving man burned, maimed

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  Fire investigators ruled out natural gas as the cause of an explosion Wednesday evening in the 9100 block of Tennessee Ave.

Crews were called out to the explosion at about 7 p.m. and had to fight the fire from the outside because the explosion knocked the home off its foundation, making it dangerous to enter. MGE was called to the scene to check for a possible gas leak, but none was found. KCPD's bomb and arson is also investigating the incident.

Two men remained in the hospital Thursday.

FOX 4 spoke to the mother of one of the victims. Wiley Mitchell, Jr., 52, was likely at the epicenter of the blast and remained in critical condition.  She believes the explosion had something to do with Mitchell trying to fix a sink that was clogged.

"When you see him, you know, you can't do anything but cry when you look at the condition that he`s in," said his aunt, Johnnie Kelly. "His skin is burned off of him . His legs are gone. His right arm is cut off to his elbow and his left hand is gone also."

Kelly saw her nephew briefly when he came out of surgery. She said his body jerked from the trauma and said, 'only God knows whether he's going to pull through this or not."

Neighbors helped pull people from the burning home .

"There was a second smaller explosion while we were there. We all backed away to make sure the structure wasn`t going to come down but we still wanted to get him out because that`s just what you do," said Tony Reames, a neighbor and rescuer.

The other adult victim and the two children were taken to hospitals but are expected to recover.

Earlier story:

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