Natural Gas Leak Suspected in Florida Apartment Explosion That Killed Father and Infant Daughter

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An explosion tore apart an apartment complex early Wednesday, killing a father and his 8-month-old daughter and injuring seven other people, officials said.

Joshua Leigh Jackson, 18, and Ja'miya Jackson were found together in an upstairs bedroom, Melbourne Fire-Rescue Assistant Chief Greg Anglin said.

"They probably didn't know what happened to them," Anglin said.

The explosion at Tucker Heights apartments around 3 a.m. destroyed at least four apartments and heavily damaged the 10-unit, two-story building, Anglin said. Windows in nearby buildings were blown out and debris was found hundreds of yards away, officials said.

Investigators searching for the cause of the explosion and fire are checking reports that gas lines were spliced and gas was stolen, officials said. The apartment where the explosion was centered was believed to be vacant.

Six people suffered minor injuries and an 11-month-old baby was flown with serious injuries to Orlando Regional Medical Center, Anglin said.

Thirty-eight residents of the apartment building and 24 more people in nearby buildings were evacuated, Anglin said.