A phenomenon known as a backdraft may have produced the explosive noise reported at a Regina home where a fire Thursday sent several people to hospital.

The fire broke out late Thursday afternoon. A woman and her two children, who live in the upstairs portion of the home,  as well as a man who was renting a basement suite were were able to get out, but were taken to hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and other minor injuries.

A pet cat, however, was later found, dead.

It's believed the fire started in the basement of the home. Firefighters were also looking into the possibility that an explosive sound was associated with a backdraft.

Generally speaking a backdraft occurs when a fire in a confined space nearly exhausts the available oxygen and seems to die down. If a door or window is opened, or smashed-in, the influx of fresh air can lead to a rapid flare up of the fire and produce a loud bang.

Investigators have not yet confirmed the details but it is possible a door was opened as people were fleeing the home, leading to the backdraft.