MONDAY UPDATE:  Officials are still investigating an explosion Saturday that killed one man, injured another and shook homes within a two-mile radius of the blast.

Chris Cate, a spokesman with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, said Monday the investigation into the explosion at 704 Harbor Lane is ongoing, but “scene examination revealed damage that is consistent with a gas or vapor explosion.”

Kevin Sasser, chief of the Destin Fire Department, would not speculate about a cause but said residents should keep pressurized containers outside of vehicles and not allow them to sit in hot areas for long periods of time.

Read more at the Daily News.


NOON UPDATE: A 35-year-old Illinois man has been identified as the victim of a deadly car explosion at a Destin vacation home Saturday evening that also critically injured an Illinois physician. 

The victim is identified as 35-year-old Michael Todd Brower. 58-year old Dr. Luis Lopez, also of Illinois, is in critical condition at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, according to a Sheriff's Office press release. 

Firefighters, paramedics, and Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to 704 Harbor Lane in Destin last night (Sept. 14) shortly after 7 p.m. in response to reports of a loud explosion and fire. 

The State Fire Marshal’s Office, which is handling the investigation, says the incident is accidental and there is no indication of foul play. 


Read on for this morning's story.

One is dead and another is seriously injured after an explosion rattled homes in Destin Saturday evening.

After an initial inspection by the state fire marshal, Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley said they have ruled out a meth lab being to blame.

While the investigation continues, it now appears this was a 'freak and tragic accident," according to Ashley. The investigation is focusing on acetylene torches that were rented to do work on the house.

Details were few, but at about  7:11 p.m., an explosion tore through a home and vehicle at 704 Harbor Lane, which is off Main Street near Joe's Bayou. One person was killed, and another seriously injured person was taken by helicopter to a hospital.

A photo of the scene showed a gutted vehicle and extensive damage to the home.

Residents almost a mile away reported hearing and feeling the blast. Some even said they heard more than one explosion.

Stay tuned for more details or see our Facebook Page.

To read the Northwest Florida Daily News' report on the incident, click here.

Destin experienced another such freak tragedy in 2009, when a gas-related explosion in a Calhoun Avenue home killed 50-year-old Michael Blanchard and seriously injured his fiance, Faye Boroughs.