Two were injured after a gas leak caused an explosion Monday afternoon, setting fire to a Cloverdale Heights home in Charles Town, West Virginia, said Larry Herbst, fire chief of Citizens Fire Department.
At approximately 12:45 p.m., an explosion set fire to a home on the 500 block of Cloverdale Road, injuring an HVAC technician that was working in the home and another person, Herbst said. Herbst said he was unable to confirm if the second victim was an HVAC technician or someone who lived in the residence.
The HVAC technician was airlifted to Medstar Washington Hospital Center, and the second victim was driven to Jefferson Medical Center, Herbst said. He said the extent of their injuries were not immediately known.
“There were two HVAC technicians working on the heating and air conditioning system, and there was a gas leak that found an emission source and there was an explosion,” he said.
The fire resulted in the home being a total loss, Herbst said.
Herbst said the house was fed by an underground propane tank -- not natural gas. He said the fire crews on scene had no indication that there was an odor of gas.
Those who responded to the scene were Citizens Fire Department, Independent Fire Company, Bakerton Fire Department, Blue Ridge Fire Department, Ranson County Fire Department, Washington County Fire Department, Friendship Fire Company, Shepherdstown Fire Department, Clark County Fire Department, Martinsburg VA Emergency Center and Jefferson County EMS, Herbst said.
Neighbor Jake Bolen said he was alarmed when he heard the explosion.
“I heard a boom,” he said. “I live on the other side of the neighborhood, and there was a boom, almost like dump trucks running together.”
The source of the gas leak is still under investigation, said Ed Hannon, safety officer at Citizens Fire Department.