Neighbors react to deadly explosion in Cass County

NOW: Neighbors react to deadly explosion in Cass County

CASS COUNTY, Mich. -- This is what's left of 'Trak Oil' after a deadly explosion Monday afternoon, walls cracked and collapsed as caution tape surrounds the building.

Neighbors left shocked by the deadly incident.

One neighbor, Erik Bidwell, says his house down the road actually started to shake out.

“Something exploded, I didn't know if it was a gunshot, it was so loud, I couldn't figure out what happened, I thought my propane tank blew up, the windows rattled, and came outside, there was this big ball of flame I came outside, there was this big ball of flame, like a mushroom cloud in the sky," said Bidwell.

Bidwell says the shock from the blast was so powerful it even knocked this light off of the side of his house.

“You start looking at the counter, and there's things laying on the counter, and things laying on the floor that were sitting in windowsill so it must've shook it worse than you could even imagine," said Bidwell.

The Cass County Sheriff's Department says 38-year-old Kevin Lawrence survived the blast and is expected to be okay.

Tragically, 71-year-old Charles Lawrence died in the explosion.

Jeremiah Jones, the chairman of the board of commissioners for Cass County says this is not something that usually happens around here.

“It's always terrible when you hear of some tragedy in the county and our hearts go out to the family," said Jones.

As of now, the Michigan Department of Environment is investigating the environmental impact of this explosion as well as working on the cleanup effort.

The Michigan State Police fire marshal is also investigating the cause.

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