Homeowner in house explosion dies - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Homeowner in house explosion dies

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The homeowner who was severely injured when his house exploded last week has died.

ATF investigator John Ham said that 52-year-old Wiley Mitchell Jr., who lost both his legs and an arm in Wednesday's horrific blast, died Tuesday morning. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said that their preliminary investigation into the explosion on the city's southeast side leads them to believe that someone in the house was making homemade illegal fireworks.

"That would be equivalent to M-80s or cherry bombs," Ham said.

The explosion was reported at East 92nd Street and Tennessee Avenue at about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday.

Mitchell, his wife, a male friend, their daughter and three other children were at home at the time. The two men suffered the worst injuries. Two children were also taken to the hospital, but were released.

Ham also said his team has finished their work on the home and there is now forensic testing going on with some things they found in the house.

It will be up to the prosecutor's office on whether charges will be filed.

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