Explosion, fire at house injure man

One man was treated for “significant burns” this afternoon after an explosion blew out the west wall of his small residence south of downtown, Grand Junction Fire Department officials said.

No information as to the man’s identity or condition was immediately available, though a woman nearby identified herself as his girlfriend and said she was going to the hospital to see him.

Firefighters who were training beneath the Fifth Street overpass on extrication techniques were a few hundred yards away when the explosion at 445 Fourth Ave., No. 10, took place about 2:55 p.m., fire department spokesman Mike Page said.

The firefighters found a small fire, apparently the result of a natural-gas explosion, Page said.

The resulting blaze was relatively small and extinguished in short order, Page said.

The west wall of the self-contained unit, not much larger than a hotel room, bulged out from the force of the explosion.

“You can see something pretty significant happened,” Page said.

Officials turned off the electricity and gas to the complex, then later restored power, Page said.

Firefighters also found a cat in the unit, which they treated with oxygen. The cat was turned over to the woman who identified the injured man as her boyfriend.

The incident remained under investigation.


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