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.