Correction: One death resulted from explosive intentional fire in Murphysboro earlier
MURPHYSBORO, Ill - A man is dead after filling his own house with gas, causing an explosion which set his house on fire following an alleged battery attack on a neighbor this morning.
Murphysboro Police responded to the battery complain in the 1500 block of Oak Street this morning around 1 a.m.
Thomas Allan Miller, 54 was reported as coaxing a neighbor to his house, and beating the victim in the face and head with some type of hammer.
The victim fled Miller's residence and was later transported to a local hospital for treatment of the injuries.
As officers arrived at Miller's home, an anonymous male called 9-1-1 stating that if police tried to come into his home, he would blow it up as it was already filling up with gas.
Police approached the home and tried to make contact with and occupy Miller by telephone. The smell of gas was obvious, and police were able to shut off the gas meter.
Miller stated and threatened that he had a firearm, and then refused further interaction with officers. Officers then backed away from the residence at the threat.
A fire then started in the living room of the house. Within a minute of the fire starting, an explosion blew out the east windows of the house, and officers lost contact with Miller. A second explosion occurred minutes later
The fire spread quickly, and the Murphysboro Fire Department was able to knock down the fire and enter Miller's residence where they found him lying unconscious in the hallway.
Miller was transported to St. Joseph's Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead.