An explosion Sunday evening at a rural residence on Egypt Ridge has resulted in the death of a 69-year-old man.

Authorities are investigating what killed Ralph Schwendler.P> He reportedly died before or after a a blast knocked out the rear wall of his small dwelling, which is located a few feet off the rural Roane County road.

Sources at the scene said Schwendler's body was found on a kitchen floor, not far from a hole in the house described as about ten or twelve feet wide.

The cause of the explosion is to be determined, with the State Fire Marshal's office being summoned.

The Spencer-Roane VFD and other emergency services responded to the scene at 5:30 p.m. about seven miles east of Spencer.

They had cleared the scene at 11:30 p.m.

First reports said the dwelling was on fire, but a source at the scene told the Herald there was no blaze. "The blast shook the neighborhood," he said. "The electric was still on and the propane tank was still OK."

The victim, who lived by himself except for an occasional caregiver, had reportedly been in poor health.

Egypt Ridge is a connected road between US 33-119 (Bower's Hill) and the West Fork of the LK near Rocksdale in Calhoun County.