Woman killed after home leveled by explosion - WNEM TV 5

Woman killed after home leveled by explosion

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TUSCOLA COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

TV5 has learned that a Tuscola County woman was killed after her home was apparently leveled by an explosion on Sunday.

Tanya Rodriguez, who loved to work and make arts and crafts, died in the house explosion early Sunday morning. It all happened on Rick Road in northern Tuscola County, just southeast of Unionville.

Gloria Rodriguez, Tanya's mother, remembers the last time she spoke to Tanya, just hours before she died.

"She says 'Ma, I got to be to work at four o'clock in the morning'. Well if I knew it was going to blow up I would've told her to get out of that house. It's killing me," Gloria Rodriguez said.

Family members say authorities told them Tanya Rodriguez awoke to the smell of gas. They believe she grabbed her purse and her four puppies and tried to get out, but she was too late. Her body was found next to the four dead dogs right at the front door.

"You're not supposed to bury your kids. You're not supposed to. It was my time to go - not hers. She had years to go, not me," Rodriguez said.

Family members raced to the scene trying to see if there was anything they could do to help. They said there were flames everywhere and worse yet, they knew Tanya Rodriguez was in there.

"We seen her jeep and we knew she was in there but there's nothing we could do. It's hard to stand back and know there's a loved one in there and you can't do nothing," cousin Dennis Hartman said.

Hartman tells us while the family is going through an unimaginable tragedy, they appreciate all of the community support. 

"The fire department was here. The police was here. Everybody worked with us very well and we're all like family here," Hartman said.

Officials not releasing many details at this hour but it is known that the incident happened in the 59-hundred block of Rick Road near East Ackerman roads. The area is southeast of Unionville in Tuscola County's Columbia Township.

The State Fire Marshall was called in to investigate and preliminary reports point to a gas leak that caused the explosion.  We'll bring you more information as it becomes available.

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