Two bodies, presumed to be those of the couple who lived in the townhouse in the Winterhausen district near Würzburg, were recovered early Monday. While they were too badly burnt to be identified with certainty, police believe they are the bodies of the 61-year-old husband and 44-year-old wife.
The couple were due to move out of the home Monday after the property was sold. There was “clear evidence of an explosion,” a police spokesman said.
A large gas bottle of a type not normally be needed in such a house was thought to be the cause of blast, investigators said.
The couple living next door were forced to flee for their lives. Only the supporting walls between the two homes remained standing on Monday.
“The street in front of the burning property was strewn with splinters of glass and household items,” an officer said. “It's now known that the house in which the fire broke out, was supposed to be sold. The couple living in it were supposed to move out of these premises today.”
When the fire brigade arrived about 2 am, both the house and its neighbour were fully ablaze. About 65 fire fighters managed to prevent the fire's spreading to other homes. It took them about two hours to get the fire under control.
The house was initially regarded as too dangerous to enter. Paramedics and council technicians were also deployed.
Bavaria's state criminal police are investigating the incident.