No serious injuries in house explosion
Sean Chase/Daily Observer Pembroke firefighters survey the damage left after an explosion blew out the sides of this two-storey house on D'Arcy Street early Thursday afternoon. A man suffered burns to his face and hands, while an infant sustained non-life threatening injuries.
A man and an infant suffered minor injuries after an explosion blew out the walls of a west-end Pembroke home Thursday.
The blast around 12:50 p.m. rocked residents of D’Arcy Street leaving bricks and glass on the ground. The force of the explosion, which eyewitnesses said originated in the basement, left holes in the sides of the two-storey dwelling.
Three residents were inside the house at the time and quickly evacuated before members of the Pembroke Fire Department arrived on the scene. Jim Foster, who lives two doors down from the site, was sitting on his front porch when he felt the ground shake. At first, he thought it was snow falling off the roof.
“It was more of a heavy, solid bang,” said Foster. “It shook my house.”
He raced over to his neighbours and became alarmed at the debris that had been scattered on the ground. He spotted a male exiting the structure carrying an infant and went inside to look for any other occupants. A second male was inside and Foster told him he should leave. They then exited the premises. Foster said he doesn’t think the house, which could be over 100 years old like many in the neighbourhood, is salvageable.
“It blew the bricks right off,” he added. “The windows are gone. It is done.”
County of Renfrew paramedics treated a man for burns to his face and hands. An infant was also treated at the scene for non-life threatening injuries before being taken to Pembroke Regional Hospital accompanied by its mother.
Michael Nolan, chief of the Renfrew County Paramedic Service, said the male victim, who did not go to the hospital, was in the basement at the time of the explosion.
Fire officials have since ordered the evacuation of the building due to its compromised structural integrity. They confirmed there was no fire as a result of the blast, which is now under investigation.
The Red Cross is assisting the family, as well as members of the County of Renfrew Paramedic Service.
“The paramedics have gone out to purchase supplies for the mother and the infant out of their own pocket,” said Nolan. “They can’t go back into the house so this is to help them out for now.”
Ottawa River Power Corporation and Enbridge Gas both responded to the emergency. The Ontario Provincial Police, with assistance from the City of Pembroke operations department, closed off the street between Christie and Munro streets for several hours.