- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—SOUTH BEND — Prosecutors have charged a Granger woman with arson, alleging she caused a June explosion that damaged her family’s suburban home and injured three people, including a responding police officer, after a suicide attempt.

Michelle Ellenberger, 51, is charged with three felony counts of arson resulting in bodily injury and one felony count of criminal mischief stemming from the June 19 explosion at the home in the 51400 block of Jodie Lynn Drive.

According to court documents filed Monday, investigators believe Ellenberger was trying to kill herself with carbon monoxide and natural gas before the explosion.

When Ellenberger’s daughter came home with her boyfriend that afternoon, they found a vehicle running, filling the garage with exhaust. Inside, they smelled natural gas and found Ellenberger passed out on a couch.

When Ellenberger’s daughter went to turn off gas that was running from the stove, an explosion blew out a kitchen wall and caused the ceiling to collapse, according to the documents.

All three people were able to get out the house after it caught fire, but Ellenberger’s daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend were injured in the explosion, and a responding St. Joseph County police officer was hospitalized for smoke inhalation and effects from the heat.

According to the documents, Ellenberger admitted the suicide attempt to medical personnel and expressed concern that she harmed others.

A judge signed an arrest warrant Monday and ordered Ellenberger held on $10,000 cash bond or $100,000 corporate surety. She was arrested this morning.


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