Property inspector checking Nebraska home killed in explosion

Friends and relatives on Tuesday were remembering a 30-year-old property inspector and mother killed in an explosion that leveled a Nebraska home where she was working.

Clara Bender was checking on the condition of the home in Omaha Monday after a tenant was evicted, police said.

The cause of the blast was unclear. A 46-year-old woman who lives next door and a 14-year-old boy also were hospitalized. Four nearby homes suffered damage.

Homicide detectives reportedly were investigating. Omaha Fire Battalion Chief Tim McCaw pleaded that anyone with information about the blast contact the city's arson hotline.

The tenant had received an eviction notice in June and finally left over the weekend, KMTV reported.

“We are heartbroken and so devastated over the loss of Clara Bender who worked as a property inspector on our team. She was a dear and beloved member of our company, a loving mother, wife and all around amazing person who cherished her family above all else," her company, CPM Realty, announced in a statement.

The firm set up a GoFundMe account for the woman's husband and son.

Bender had worked for CPM since November. Company president Jeremy Aspen said her husband was "having a rough go right now."

Aspen said his company has turned over all its documents regarding the property and any contact with the former tenant to police. He said officials have not given him any indication about whether the explosion was being investigated as a criminal matter.

"There's a lot of stuff that could have happened," Aspen said. "Foul play is a possibility. But just as possible is that there was a gas leak or somebody removed a stove or bumped it on accident or any number of things."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.