Police were called to Plano home for welfare check 2 days before it exploded

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Police were called to a Plano home for a welfare check two days before the home was destroyed in an explosion, severely injuring the man who lived there and hospitalizing five residents of a home next door.

But officers were unable to make contact with the resident and left a short time later.

The single-story home in the 4400 block of Cleveland Drive exploded the afternoon of July 19, reducing it to a pile of rubble, damaging the houses on either side and scattering debris across the neighborhood. The blast was felt up to a mile away, and nearby residents likened the sound of the blast to an airstrike or a truck plowing into the home.

Neighbors initially believed lightning from a passing storm could have been to blame, though fire investigators said the explosion was the result of an isolated gas leak.

Then, two days after the blast, Plano police said it “may have been intentional.” Police added that it appeared to be an isolated incident.

Joseph Kupfer, 57, who lived at the home, was critically wounded. Five people in the home to the west also were hospitalized: Jennifer and Philip Jagielski, 34 and 32, and their three children, ages 10, 6 and 3.

Kupfer’s attorney, Scott J. Becker, said Friday that he wasn’t aware of any improvement in Kupfer’s condition and that he’s “still struggling through his injuries.” Becker had no comment on the police statement that the explosion may have been intentional.

According to a heavily redacted incident report, police were called around 1:20 a.m. July 17 about a welfare concern at Kupfer’s home. Officers reported that the lights were off and no one answered the phone.

Police cleared the incident shortly after 2 a.m. after multiple attempts to contact the resident failed.

A department spokesman said an officer saw nothing suspicious that would have made entry into the home possible. Police did not say what led the reporting person to ask for a welfare check.

Authorities have released little information about their investigation into the explosion, but an incident report reveals some of the evidence investigators gathered after the blast.

Along with video from a number of officers’ body and vehicle cameras, police collected a cellphone, a DNA swab and two swabs from a water hose where the destroyed home’s laundry room had been. They also reported finding a “multi-page, handwritten note” several houses away from the blast site.

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