New River explosion update: Couple says they were legally living at home when blast happened

NEW RIVER, AZ - Two different stories paint completely different pictures about what happened before Monday night's explosion in New River.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says the property owner told them the home was supposed to be vacant.

The property is owned by Gavilan Peak Estates, an investment company.

"It is our understanding that this home has been vacant for six months and there was to be nobody on the property at this time," said Joaquin Enriquez with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Chelsie Garner says she was a legal tenant. She gave ABC15 a copy of a rental agreement, that she says, was was between Gavilan Peak Estates and other tenants.

The document lists Garner, Jordan Perrin and Melady Downing as renters starting in October.

The rental agreement given to ABC15, by Garner, is not a signed document.

Gavilan Peak Estates, says Perrin and Garner were trespassing.

The company says when it found out they were living them, he asked them to leave.

However, Garner says they were moving out on Monday because they couldn't pay rent.

Michael Miller and his friend Steven Lane were helping Garner move out.

Miller says someone with the leasing company came by that morning to hand them a notice that stated they needed to move off. Hours later, Lane stepped on an explosive device and consequently lost his leg.

Miller fears the explosion was something that had been left behind by a previous owner.

Back in 1997 and 1998 Chuck Byers owned the property and stored large amount of explosives and chemicals.

"The state came in and cleaned everything up and they did a pretty clean job," said Byers. "There was not a match they had left on the place."

Miller says the leasing company assured his friends everything had been cleaned up but now he's not so sure.

"Last week when we were hiking, we saw the bunker," said Miller. "I was too scared to go inside it but it had two steel doors. So I pushed the door shut and just kept going."

At this point, it's not clear what type of explosive device it was or how long it had been on the property.

MCSO is still investigating.

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