Deaths of three people in house explosion ruled homicides

The mystery of why an Edmonton home exploded — leaving four people dead and a neighbourhood in tatters — started to slowly unravel Thursday.

EDMONTON — The mystery of why an Edmonton home exploded — leaving four people dead and a neighbourhood in tatters — started to slowly unravel Thursday.

Edmonton police announced they were treating three of the deaths as homicides, but not the fourth. They also announced no suspects were being sought, though they would not say if the explosion was deliberately set.

“We know it was non-accidental,” Insp. Darren Eastcott said carefully, after a long pause. “Somebody did something to cause their deaths.”

That quickly led to speculation of a murder-suicide, though police would not directly confirm or deny the possibility.

Police also continued to refuse comment on reports that the body of the woman who was found in the house, Jeanne Cathleen Heard, 47, had been bound up in some way.

Heard owned the house with Dwayne Richard Poirier, 46, the sole person involved whose death was ruled non-criminal.

Autopsy results released Thursday show that two men in the house next door, Craig Donald Huber, 29, and Bradley Warren Winter, 26, died from injuries received in the explosion.

But Eastcott said more testing needed to be done before the cause of Heard’s and Poirier’s deaths could be established.