Fatal Whitmore Lake House Explosion: Victims Identified, Community in Shock as Investigation Continues

NORTHFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A tragic house explosion in Whitmore Lake took the lives of four family members and left two others injured on Saturday. The victims have been identified as 71-year-old Richard Pruden, his daughter Hope Bragg, 51, her husband Don Bragg, 53, her son Kenneth, 22, and her daughter Elizabeth, 19. Richard is currently in critical condition, while Hope’s other son Stephen, 16, is in stable condition.

Authorities suspect the explosion was an undetermined fuel-air explosion that occurred around 4 p.m., ruling out foul play. Northfield Township Police Lt. David Powell described the devastating scene as unlike anything he had ever witnessed before. The explosion, which was heard and felt miles away, left crucial evidence scattered across 2 acres of the property.

Michigan State Police and the ATF are assisting in the ongoing investigation to piece together the events leading up to the explosion. Meanwhile, the families of the victims have set up GoFundMe pages to aid Richard and Stephen, who are still in the hospital. A vigil is planned for this Saturday at 3 p.m. at Whitmore Lake High School to honor the lives lost and support those affected by the tragedy.