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Northfield Twp. explosion: Undetermined fuel source suspected in blast; victims identified

Families launch GoFundMe pages to help the two survivors
Bragg family
Posted at 2:53 PM, Jan 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-02 16:22:53-05

(WXYZ) — Northfield Township officials have identified the victims in Saturday’s devastating house explosion that left four family members dead and two others injured.

Police said Tuesday the homeowner is 72-year-old Richard Pruden, and that his daughter and her family were visiting from Arkansas at the time of the blast.

Police provide update on massive house explosion in Whitmore Lake that killed 4

Richard’s daughter, Hope Bragg, 51, along with her husband, Don Bragg, 53; her son Kenneth, 22; and her daughter, Elizabeth, 19, all died in the explosion. Officials say Richard is currently in the hospital in critical condition and Hope’s other son Stephen, 16, is in stable condition.

Officials say the investigation is ongoing, but believe it was an undetermined fuel-air explosion that occurred around 1 p.m. and that no foul play is suspected.

The Bragg Family

Crucial evidence is scattered around 2 acres of the property due to the explosion that the community heard and felt miles away.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Northfield Township Police Lt. David Powell.

Richard Pruden

Northfield Township Police say Michigan State Police and the ATF are assisting in the investigation.

In the meantime, families of the victims have created GoFundMe pages to help Richard and Stephen, who are still in the hospital.

To view the GoFundMe for Richard, click here.

To view the GoFundme for Stephen, click here.

A vigil is planned for this Saturday at 3 p.m. at Whitmore Lake High School.