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Two people injured in Janesville house explosion

Fire - Residence 806 Hawthorne Ave. 05/25/2020
Fire - Residence 806 Hawthorne Ave. 05/25/2020(WIFR)
Published: May. 26, 2020 at 7:28 AM CDT
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Two people are injured following a house explosion in Janesville Monday night, according to the Janesville Fire Department.

Firefighters were sent to a fully-engulfed house fire on the 800 block of Hawthorne Avenue at 9:15 p.m. Monday.

According to our sister station WMTV in Madison, Janesville Fire Battalion Chief Ron Bomkamp said one of the duplex's tenants reported they smelled gas by the water heater for several days. Bomkamp said one tenant came downstairs Monday, lit a cigarette, and then the house exploded.

"We were sitting out having a fire and we heard a big boom," said Brooke Doan, who lives in the neighborhood. "Above the trees there was a big ball of fire and then smoke. It was probably the scariest thing I've ever witnessed."

According to fire officials, one person received serious injuries and another received minor injuries. Both are at Mercy Hospital. The person who lived on the other half of the duplex was not injured and is staying with family in town.

A dog was also taken to an emergency veterinarian clinic with severe burns.

Bomkamp said one side of the duplex is considered a "total loss" and that no one will be able to stay there. The damages are estimated at $150,000.

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