MFD: High Point Road to remain closed after house explosion

The Madison Fire Department said in a statement Saturday that High Point Road will remain closed. Madison Fire Chief Steve Davis hoped to restore access between McKee Road and Raymond Road by Saturday night.

A body was found Friday morning at the site where a house exploded on Madison’s west side two days earlier, a fire official said.

The Madison Fire Chief Steve Davis said the body was found at about 9 a.m. Friday. He said after hours of searching turned into days, crews knew the likelihood of finding someone alive was slim.

“We know by past experience when we have devastation like we’ve seen with this incident the likelihood of survival is pretty low,” Davis said.

The fire department said it’s up to Dane County Medical Examiner to release the identity of the victim.

Davis said crews will resume work once the medical examiner has finished. He said it’s unclear if there are more victims.

“There’s always a possibility that there could be another body in there,” Davis said. “The debris field is such that we have … a long way to go yet. We’ve got a lot of investigative work to do, and at this point, we just don’t know.”

A cause hasn’t been determined, but gas is a suspected factor in the explosion that scattered debris hundreds of feet away from the Stratton Way home, Davis said.

MFD: High Point Road to remain closed after house explosion

Fire officials said Thursday one of the house’s residents was still unaccounted for.

The home is owned by Steven and Lee Anne Pirus, according to public records. The couple has owned the house since 2005, and one of the two is still unaccounted for.

MFD: High Point Road to remain closed after house explosion

At about 2 p.m. Wednesday, the house at 7806 Stratton Way exploded. The home was destroyed and debris spread across the area. Fire crews knocked down a fire at the home within about 30 minutes but continued to fight hot spots for hours. Crews have been at the scene overnight and throughout the week sifting through the rubble.

Madison Gas and Electric officials said in a statement to News 3 Thursday that the company’s investigation shows no evidence of a leak in the underground gas distribution system.