Two people were airlifted to hospital in “critical condition" after a house exploded in Peoria, Arizona late Wednesday, officials said.
A 21-year-old female and 30-year old male suffered 30 to 50 percent burns after the blast at 9:43 p.m. local time (12.43 a.m. ET), Peoria Fire captain Rob Brewster said.
He added that it was not immediately clear what caused the explosion which people in the neighborhood told affilitate KPNX felt like earthquake.
“There was a Peoria police officer who was doing some paperwork adjacent to the house when the explosion occurred,” Brewster said. “So he witnessed the two residents make it out and collapse. So he was able to assist them.”
He added it was “lucky” that the policeman had been on the scene to help, before fire crews and paramedics arrived.
“They were flown by two helicopters to the Maricopa County Burns Center in critical condition at the time,” he said, adding that the cause of the blaze was still under investigation.
He had not been updated on their current condition.
“We did determine there was natural gas that did run to the residence,” he explained. "Our HAZMAT crew was on the scene. They did some metering, but we’re not able to determine if that was the cause of the explosion.”
Earlier Peoria Fire Department Chief Bobby Ruiz told the Arizona Republic that there were live electrical wires over the house, but it was unknown whether they had any role in the explosion is not known.
No other properties, including a neighboring school were damaged in the blaze that Brewster said had been quickly contained by fire crews.
First published October 17 2013, 1:31 AM