British Columbia

Courtenay, B.C. explosion leaves two critically injured

Two people are in critical condition after an explosion at a residence in Courtenay, B.C. on Friday.

RCMP investigating fire as suspicious

Clouds of smoke are billowing from the residence, believed to be a duplex, on First Street and Rod & Gun Road. (CHEK News)

Two people are in critical condition after an explosion at a residence in Courtenay, B.C. on Friday.

Witnesses say there were people inside the home at the time. One of the injured individuals drove himself and two others to the hospital. Two of them were then taken away by air ambulance in critical condition to another hospital — one of them suffered burns on 70 per cent of their body and another on 90 per cent of their body. 

Watch raw footage of the fire from a neighbour, Bill Wright.

"I saw a big puff of smoke as I was coming down the road and as I got close to my property, I see a couple of pieces of something smouldering on the road," said Bill Wright. "I pulled over and looked at it and it was a couple of pieces of clothing that were still on fire a little bit." 

Clouds of black smoke were billowing from the residence, believed to be a duplex, on First Street and Rod & Gun Road, around 5 p.m. PT. 

"My window was open. All of a sudden I start hearing a bunch of screaming and some more bangs, loud bangs," says Nicole Lebrun. "So then I come outside and all of a sudden, I see the house up in flames."

Police investigating fire as 'suspicious'

"On arrival, the whole backside of the building, from ground level to top was in flames," said Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex. "The interior of the building in the back was in flames."

One of the backyard doors to the residence was blown off the hinges and there were several unidentified cylinders scattered across the lawn. 

RCMP investigators are looking into the explosion as a suspicious fire. 

"Every fire that is this serious and results in injuries is deemed suspicious until proven otherwise," says Comox Valley RCMP Const. Dean Biollo. "We're concerned obviously with the witness accounts of the explosions."

Police have applied for a search warrant to go through the home and expect to be on scene for a few days. 

With files from CHEK News

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