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Owner of home that exploded Tuesday filed for protection order against grandson day before

APTOPIX Omaha House Explosion
Omaha fire and explosion
Omaha house explosion
Omaha house fire and explosion
Omaha House Explosion
Omaha House Explosion
Posted at 8:46 AM, Dec 08, 2020

UPDATE: 12/10/20 7:45 a.m.

Omaha Police say a third person has died as a result of a Tuesday morning house explosion.

Alexander Toledo, 28, the grandson of the homeowner, died Wednesday. He was transferred to the Kansas University Medical Center shortly after the incident.

The homeowner, Theresa Toledo, 73, and her daughter, Angela Miller, 45, both died Tuesday.

RELATED: Community left devastated after house explosion

Update 5:00 pm 12/8/20

Authorities said two people died and two others were transported to University of Nebraska Medical Center in critical condition after an early morning house fire at 4810 South 51st Street. A dog also was found dead at the scene.

Following the fatal explosion, it was discovered that the homeowner, Theresa Toledo, 73, filed a petition for a domestic abuse protection orderagainst Alexander Toledo, 28, stating her relationship as his grandmother. Toledo and her daughter Angela Toledo both died in the fire. Alexander and another person who lived in the home suffered critical injuries.

Theresa Toledo wrote in the petition, "Alex is on meth, mushrooms that I'm aware of, I haven't been able to see my grandchildren since summer because they are afraid of him as he talks to himself and says his stepfather is in his head, which is not true...he has put holes in the basement walls where he stays and you can't even walk in the basement. He has electronics in the walls & ceiling. I'm afraid he will start my house on fire."

Toledo also described her grandson's alleged criminal history with narcotics.

She concluded the petition by writing, "I need Alex out of my house now before he destroys my house or harms me, the drugs make him crazy."

According to Omaha Fire Department Battalion Chief Scott Fitzpatrick, crews arrived on the scene at 8:15 a.m. with a second alarm called at 8:23 a.m. The entire block was initially evacuated before authorities determined there was no threat. Those residents were able to return to their homes a few hours later.

The house that exploded is a complete loss and was leveled in the explosion. Some surrounding homes have extensive damage.

Neighbors described the scene as horrifying and said it sounded like a bomb went off.

"I heard a very loud explosion. It sounded almost like something was bombed and I flew out of the house thinking it was my house and when I got outside I could see the house was on fire and someone was running down the hill and saying to call 911," Marianne Distefano, a neighbor, said.

When fire rescue arrived at the scene the house was engulfed in flames.

"It was horrible. I mean it was just in flames and after that, smoke, but you could see it was bad. It looked like someone had bombed the house," Distefano said.

Distefano saw one neighbor jump to action. Jeff Mell ran towards the flames when he saw what was happening.

"I heard something fall, it sounded like something fell on our house, I thought it was a tree or whatever so I came out front angry and I looked down the street and saw flames coming and I automatically just started running," Mell said.

He and another neighbor wrapped a man in blankets and helped him to a safer area.

Fire investigators are probing the cause of the explosion.

"There are so many variables to tell right now, that’s why we have to investigate and kind of piece it together to see exactly what it was that made that house explode. As you can see, the explosion was pretty big," said Fitzpatrick.

People are advised to stay clear of the area as 51st Street has been closed from L Street to Holmes Street. The fire department said that this will be a lengthy investigation.

MUD and OPPD were on the scene to help.

Read related court documents filed on Monday below.

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