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Blast victims ID'd; probe continues


Authorities have released the identities of two women who died in an explosion and fire in Evansville.

The Vanderburgh County Coroner said Sharon Mand and Kathleen Woolems died at the scene of Tuesday’s blast at 1717 Hercules Avenue.

Coroner Steve Lockyear said in a news release that both Mand and Woolems were residents of the home. He didn’t provide their ages.
Firefighters recovered their bodies in the basement of the house more than four hours after the blast that leveled the structure.
Two more adults and a child were injured in the blast.

Meantime, Evansville Battalion Chief Charles Hertzberger says the fire and police departments are conducting a joint investigation, and is asking for patience in the release of more information about the tragedy.

Hertzberger says the agencies will do all they can to provide “timely information, within reasonable timelines, while taking in specific concerns related to the ongoing investigation.”

Fire inspector Richard Howard told the Courier and Press that most of the fire damage occurred in the basement of the house.