The Mississippi State Fire Marshal's Office said this morning it has completed its investigation into a home explosion in Marion County.
On Friday around 8 a.m., the Marion County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1238 Pine Burr Road to serve a warrant. The Fire Marshal's Office said 32-year-old Justin Dement had contacted the sheriff’s office and said he wanted to turn himself in. When officers arrived at the home, Dement would not come out, the Fire Marshal's Office said, and negotiations began with Dement and lasted for about 45 minutes.
During this time, Dement sent a Facebook message to a Marion County sheriff’s deputy saying he was filling the house with gas, the fire marshal said. Deputies went to the propane tank and turned off the gas supply to the house. Shortly after that, gunshots were heard inside the house, and an explosion occurred immediately after the last shot.
Deputies immediately called the fire department and tried to enter the house to rescue Dement but were unable to do so, due to the smoke and fire, the Fire Marshal said. The Pine Burr Volunteer Fire Department arrived on the scene to put out the fire, and firefighters located Dement in the house with a shotgun laying on him.
The Sheriff’s Office asked state fire marshal deputies and LC gas inspectors to investigate the cause of the explosion and fire. The investigation showed that two gas lines in the house were turned on and left open, releasing propane gas into the house. Dement fired the shotgun, igniting the gas, which caused the explosion, the fire marshal said, and was killed as a result. Autopsy and toxicology exams are being conducted at the Mississippi State Forensics Laboratory.