The body of a man suspected of blowing up his Pennsylvania townhouse and destroying two more on Thursday was found under the rubble of his home about 12 hours after the explosion, police said Friday.
The remains of Thomas Razzi, 66, were identified by the Montgomery County coroner’s office after the body was found just before midnight Thursday. The cause of death has not yet been determined.
A code enforcement officer was conducting a follow-up inspection at Razzi’s home in Eagleville due to known hoarding conditions when Razzi brandished a gun and then pursued the officer, according to Lower Township Police Providence.
When the police arrived at the scene, Razzi returned home. Additional officers arrived to help form a perimeter around the house.
“Shortly thereafter, a series of loud explosions and gunshots were heard coming from the suspect’s residence,” a statement from the Lower Providence Township Police Department said. “Police believed the suspect was the cause of the explosions and gunfire and intentionally started the fire.”
The blaze spread quickly and officers began evacuating neighbors as firefighters scrambled to bring the blaze under control.
Three townhouses, including Razzi’s, were completely destroyed and three others were damaged, police said. Those who were displaced were accommodated.
Investigators believe the explosions were caused by chemicals.
The code enforcement officer sustained minor injuries and was treated in a hospital, then released.
Neighbors told NBC Philadelphia that Razzi’s behavior had been erratic and that he had said strange things in recent weeks.
The station reported that three children – ages 6, 9 and 14 – were learning remotely nearby at the time of the blasts. They called their parents at work and the police were able to rescue the children before the house was reduced to rubble.