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Fire Department investigating home explosion

on November 1, 2011

The Richmond Fire Department is working to determine the cause of an in-home explosion that happened early Tuesday morning.

Chief Michael Banks said that firefighters received a call about an explosion at 2:22 a.m. Tuesday on the 3000 block of Ohio Street. By the time they arrived the fire was small, he said, but damage done by the initial detonation was significant.

The west-facing wall of the house was blown off, so that it now leans against the neighboring house. The north-facing wall was blown off at the bottom, though it’s still attached at the top. Banks said that he suspects the house will have to be demolished.

The four male inhabitants of the house received minor injuries, such as singeing of facial hair, but nothing serious.

“They were very fortunate that that’s all that happened to them,” Banks said.

The explosion occurred in the bedroom of the house, burning parts of the room but leaving much of the house unscathed, Banks said.

Banks also said the fire department is not ruling out any possibilities, but this type of explosion could be the result of a gas leak.

“Once (gas vapor) finds an ignition source, then the explosion happens and you have this fireball that happens very quickly,” Banks said. “It might catch a lot of things on fire; it might catch a few things on fire.”

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