A state of emergency has been declared in Wayne after William C. Franks Furniture store on Wayne Road exploded yesterday morning killing two employees and seriously injuring the store owner. We now know the identity of the female victim, whose name hadn’t yet been released. After hours of searching, firefighters found both missing employees, James Zell (64 years old from Westland), and Leslie Machniak, (54 years old from Westland), dead under the rubble. The store’s owner Paul Franks survived the blast and remains in critical condition at the U of M Hospital with severe burns. A natural gas leak is believed to be the cause of the explosion.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Franks family, the Zell family, the Machniak female, the City of Wayne, and to everybody affected by yesterday’s explosion.