Explosion Aftermath

Last week, a house in my neighbourhood exploded in the middle of the night. The blast blew out one wall and destroyed the interior staircase.  Fortunately, everyone was able to leave the building with only minor injuries.

When I walked past today, this is what it looked like.

I checked with Google Maps Street View, and this is what it looked like when they took pictures in August 2014.

It looks as though the owners had just completed renovations in 2014. The building had been made into apartments with a fire escape at the back. That fire escape turned out to be the only way the residents on the upper floors were able to get out after the explosion.

The news article that I read about the event has not yet been updated, so I don’t know what was the cause. However, it does appear that the roof and upper storey have been demolished, probably for safety. All of that debris, furnishings, and personal possessions are now strewn about.

When I went by, I saw that there was still police tape around the property, and a security guard was nearby. He got out of his car when he saw me taking pictures, but he didn’t stop me. He just wished me a good morning.

I feel for the owners, but I feel even more sorry for the residents. They have not only lost their homes but, from all appearances, most of their possessions, too.

My top three guesses for the cause of the explosion are (1) gas line rupture, (2) drug lab accident, and (3) amateur explosives creation mistake. Whatever caused it, those residents are lucky to be alive today, with or without their personal effects.

 

7 Comments

  1. Yikes! Too close for comfort. Anne, I’m in Edmonton until next Tuesday. Do you want to walk me through your neighbourhood this weekend—6 feet apart of course. Send me a message at [email address].

  2. Anne, That is frightening indeed. One considers fires spreading too. So glad this one was contained. It was once a lovely house. Hopefully insurance will assist the owners in rehabilitating it. Thank goodness for the fire escape!

    1. Yes, it has shaken the whole neighbourhood both figuratively and literally. Since there is no sign of the gas company digging up the streets, it must not have been a gas pipe rupture.

      When the fire department came, and once they had accounted for all the occupants, they declared it unsafe for entry even by the fire fighters. They sent in a camera drone to look around inside.

      1. A camera drone, clever! I would guess drug lab as I have heard how volatile those ingredients can be. However I have no idea of course.

        Six buildings burned in SF yesterday in the South of Market area. No injuries, early morning fire, mostly businesses. One hydrant had little to no water! For San Francisco that is unheard of!

        Had a notification that the bank I use is temporarily closed due to Covid-related issues. Online banking still works as do ATMs. How odd this all is.

        1. I saw pictures of the fire in SF. I didn’t know six buildings had burned, though. That is devastating for those people.

          I had a notification from Bank of America saying the same thing. It’s not a problem for me, though. I do all my banking online now. I can’t remember the last time I went into a bank!

          1. I had to laugh about BofA. We have used that bank for well over 50 years. Frank’s first job out of college was with BofA in San Francisco. However I’ve used another bank for over 20 years for my own stuff and I was finally prepared to go to BofA and close all our accounts and move them to the bank I use when this happened. Otherwise I do everything online also. I don’t care much for banks and avoid in person transactions as much as possible!

            Yes, I suspect that businesses affected by yesterday’s fire may have a real difficult road ahead. Fortunately there were no injuries.

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