House explodes in Regina, injuring 2
An explosion in Regina has destroyed a house and injured two people — blowing one woman right out of her home and into her backyard, according to a neighbour.
With a natural gas leak possibly to blame, power has been turned off in the area and dozens of people have been evacuated from their homes.
Fire crews were called to the Whitmore Park subdivision in the south end of the city around 4:30 a.m. CST. The frame of the bungalow is all that is left.
The gas meter was blown off its pipe at the back of the house at 1004 Shannon Road and the pipe was still burning when reporters arrived.
A husband and wife who were in the home when the house exploded were taken to hospital with injuries.
The man was reported to be in good condition, while the woman's injuries are believed to be more serious.
A woman who lives across the street said she heard a boom, then sirens, and then her doorbell ringing. When she answered it, it was the injured woman.
'She was obviously in distress...her night clothing was singed and her hair was singed, but she was quite lucid.'—Neighbour Eunice Polasek
"She was obviously in distress," said Eunice Polasek. "Her night clothing was singed and her hair was singed, but she was quite lucid."
The woman told Polasek that when the explosion happened, she was blown right out of the house.
"She said she ended up in the backyard," the neighbour said.
Fire crews put out the fire, but little was left of the house. Homes immediately beside the explosion did not catch fire.
Neighbours said they were shocked by the early morning explosion.
"I woke up, there was a loud bang, a terrific bang and there was quite a sight to see with a fire next door to my neighbours," said Terry Shalley, who lives two doors away. "Of course, we rushed over there to make sure everyone was safe."
Another neighbour described the fire that followed.
"You could see the flames a good 10 to 15 feet, I would say, above the house," Bernie Zaharik, who lives across the street from the house, told CBC News.
Officials were not immediately able to identify the cause of the explosion, but neighbours reported the smell of gas and SaskEnergy crews were on the scene throughout the morning investigating.
Other fire, gas problems in area
About an hour after the explosion, another fire broke out at a home about eight houses away. A man who was in the basement of that house was able to escape without injury, fire officials told reporters on the scene.
Later in the morning, SaskEnergy and fire officials confirmed that between the two earlier incidents they had found natural gas inside a home, about 50 metres from the explosion.
There was also a fire on the weekend at 1000 Shannon Rd., the house beside the house that exploded.
At 8 a.m., SaskPower shut off the electricity to 20 to 25 homes in the area and said it would remain off until investigators knew more. About 60 people were told to leave their homes.