Dead identified in Georgia house blast; cause still unknown

Georgia authorities say it could be weeks before they can determine the cause of an explosion that killed two people and destroyed their home in the northern part of the state

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. (AP) — The weekend explosion that destroyed a north Georgia house and killed two people caused so much damage that determining its cause will take time, Georgia's fire commissioner said Monday.

Commissioner John King’s office identified the dead Monday as Ralph Norris Wood Jr., 78, and Peggy Wood, 77. Autopsies were planned on both at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Decatur.

The Sunday morning blast happened in the Union County town of Blairsville. In addition to destroying the Woods' home, it damaged several houses in the area, King's news release said.

"Due to the severity of the explosion, it could be up to several weeks before the cause is determined,” King said.

Neighbors told WSB-TV they didn't smell any gas or see anything out of the ordinary before the explosion.

Among the Woods' neighbors was Jane Stone.

“We’ve been friends for nearly 20 years," she told the TV station. They were very nice people."

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