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South Side Explosion Latest: Experts weigh in on disaster

Police are working all hours piecing together evidence and building a case against those responsible for the explosion. Fox59 spoke to one expert who says there is evidence this could have been an intentional blast.

The bomb-like blast caused $4.4 million worth of damages and killed two people.  Investigators from Kennedy and Associates based in Florida are weighing in on one big question-- how much natural gas was needed to blow up the two-story house on 8349 Fieldfare Way and homes next door?

“This was a very significant explosion,” said Rich Meier, of Kennedy and Associates. “I would say there were several rooms involved with the explosion. You're probably talking somewhere in the order of 500 to 1000 to 2000 cubic feet of gas involved.”

Meier said finding the source of the blast at Moncie Shirley's home is key for investigators. They're also searching for gas-fed appliances or fixtures, and the lines feeding them that would have to have been compromised to bring that much gas into the house.

“Can an open gas line put enough gas into the house over a six to nine hour period to cause and explosion? My answer is yes,” said Meier.

Meanwhile, detectives were back at the Highland Estates neighborhood Wednesday, less than a day after Bob Leonard was questioned and released. Bob is the brother of Moncie Shirley's boyfriend, Mark Leonard.

Authorities also questioned Mark's long-time acquaintance, David Gill.

A neighbor said investigators got a tip from someone who had video of a white van parked outside of Bob Leonard's home. A white van was spotted in the Richmond Hill community on the day of the explosion.

"I just hope it all ends soon and they figure it all out,” said Whitney Essex, a neighbor. “Hopefully it's not him and hopefully it had nothing really to do with him.”

Bob Leonard and David Gill were not arrested nor have they been charged.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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