Man succumbs to injuries in aftermath of Regina garage fire

A garage fire in Regina's Rosemont neighbourhood has claimed the life of a man in his mid-20s. 

Regina Fire Department crews responded to a "substantial" garage fire on the 4400 block of 7 Ave around 8:40 on Friday night. They found an injured man on the ground in an alley outside the detached garage.  

The man was transported to hospital with severe burns and died this morning, according to the Regina Fire Department. One other person, the man's wife, was rescued from the home uninjured. 

Bryan Eneas/CBC

According to Regina Fire Department Fire Marshal Randy Ryba, the man's wife told them he was "tinkering" with something in the garage when the fire started. 

"Our scene examination might in fact root out the exact cause," Ryba said. "It's very badly damaged, which makes it very difficult to investigate."

As crews battled the fire, a major explosion occurred as a tank of nitrous oxide in the garage blew up. Ryba said one person was knocked down and another lost their helmet as a result of the explosion. 

A firetruck was also struck by shrapnel from the blast, leaving a large dent in the vehicle. A home across the alley sustained minor damage. The detached garage is a "total loss," said Ryba.

He said the man's death marks the first fatality in a fire in the last year and a half.

"One is too many," Ryba said. "We work hard to prevent fires from happening and injuring people and damaging property but it's a very sad day for our citizens and his family."

Bryan Eneas/CBC

A fire investigator was on scene Friday night to conduct a preliminary assessment and secure the site. 

Ryba said the scene is very unstable and heavy equipment has been called to clear up some of the most dangerous areas of the scene.

The investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing. Ryba said he expects the investigation to conclude as early as Sunday. 

"Given that it's a mechanic's garage, there could be all kinds of combustibles and material and the like, but we'll certainly try our best to determine what caused this fatality," Ryba said.