News helicopters captured the moment that a New Hampshire home exploded after the homeowner was suspected of setting fire to it and killing a police officer.
Officer Steve Arkell from the Brentwood Police Department was killed after responding to a domestic disturbance at the home of suspect Michael Nolan, who died in the fire. The 48-year-old police veteran was shot dead in front of the home and when other officers tried to enter the house they were driven out by gunfire, according to the state Attorney General Joseph Foster.
The fire at the home burned for roughly 15-minues prior to the explosion, which caused a raging inferno and burnt the house to the ground. Firefighters attempted to save the home but their efforts were unsuccessful.
[Officer Steve Arkell]
Nolan, 47, had gotten into an argument with his 86-year-old father who owned the home. Police later took Walter Nolan away, however his son remained at the house and is believed to be the person who killed Arkell and exchanged gunfire with other officers. Police and SWAT were dispatched to the scene after neighbors heard gunfire and called 911.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has joined the investigation along with the New Hampshire State Police and local authorities.
The incident prompted New Hampshire’s governor, Maggie Hassan, to release a statement commending Arkell, who was a 15-year police veteran and survived by a wife and two teenage daughters.
“Officer Arkell bravely answered the call of duty and made the ultimate sacrifice, a heroic demonstration of his commitment to the safety of his fellow citizens,” Hassan said.
She added that “Officer Arkell courageously put his life on the line to protect others, and in doing so, was tragically taken far too soon.”
Authorities said that the investigation into the incident is ongoing, and the cause of the explosion is unknown at this time.