Officials identify woman killed in home explosion in Taylor

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Taylor — Authorities have released the name of a woman who was killed in a fire last week.

Cynthia Marie Parsell, 66, died in a fire Aug. 20 in a mobile home located at 26133 Fifth, officials said. Parsell was one of 10 children and is survived by seven siblings, a daughter and grandchildren, they said.

Taylor Fire Deputy Chief Stan Pochron and DTE investigator Joe Cron said in statement Thursday there was an explosion in the home, which resulted in the fire. 

The fire happened about 9 p.m. Officials said it appears the explosion happened near the gas stove in her kitchen. They said the stove was new and had been installed by a third-party contractor through a home improvement store outside Taylor.

MoreTwo Thursday fires in Taylor, 1 fatal, under investigation

Parsell was sitting on the couch and watching television at the time, according to authorities.

Her brother told officials Parsell recently had been diagnosed with cancer and started her first round of chemotherapy. They said loss of smell is a side effect. Before the explosion, neighbors said they smelled natural gas. DTE crews checked the surrounding area for possible gas but found none.

Officials said the fire has been deemed “accidental," but is still open for investigations by the companies involved and for a possible recall of the stove if needed. 

They also said the victim of a second Aug. 20 fire remains in the hospital. 

The woman, identified as Francis Bannow, is scheduled to have surgery to repair second- and third-degree burns to the top of her head.

Bannow told firefighters she awoke with her hair on fire and fire coming from the front of her bed. She said she ran to the kitchen, wet some towels and threw them at the fire to extinguish it. 

The woman also said she tried to spray water on the fire before her hair caught fire again. It was then that she left the home and went to a neighbor's house for help.

Officials said the fire is still under investigation.

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez