JOHNSON COUNTY — Johnson County emergency managers said a home that exploded late Saturday night is a total loss, and the search for its owners has yielded one body.
According to Sheriff Bob Alford, authorities in Johnson County first received calls about the explosion at about 10:58 p.m.
"The main thing is to locate the owners of the property," he told News 8, identifying them as Gary Wagner and Wanda Buckley Davis.
At a briefing Sunday afternoon, Alford confirmed that a body believed to be Davis, 62, was located in the rubble around noon.
"Sweet... caring... loving," is how niece Melanie Broyles described Davis. "She'd give you the shirt off her back."
Relatives said Davis' husband was on a business trip in North Carolina at the time of the blast. He was contacted Sunday afternoon and is on his way back to Texas.
The explosion was felt several miles away in neighboring cities and counties.
Alford said residents in the immediate area traced it to the log cabin-style home, located in the 6600 block of East FM 916 near County Road 408, west of Grandview and about 35 miles south of Fort Worth.
"Our whole house shook," said a neighbor. "Stuff fell off the walls and broke. I thought a plane crashed that’s how much the house shook."
"My wife and I felt it just north of Keene," said Chief Matt Gillin, of the Keene Fire Department. "Must have been very powerful."
Alford's department, with the help of the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, said it determined the cause of the explosion to be a propane leak that was ignited by water heaters in the basement of the three-story residence.
Experts returned to the scene Sunday morning to search through an unusually wide debris field. In the afternoon, family members pored over the remnants trying to save precious memories for Davis' adult children.
Authorities from the Cleburne Police Department and Cleburne Fire Department also assisted with the investigation.