'Remarkable': No injuries reported after Hamilton home levelled by explosion

·2 min read
Hamilton Fire Chief Dave Cunliffe said it's
Hamilton Fire Chief Dave Cunliffe said it's

Jennifer Munday was at home Friday night when an explosion rocked her neighbourhood.

When she ran outside she found a house on Bonaventure Drive completely levelled, with shattered glass and other debris coating the area around it.

"I heard a big bang, kind of like a pop, and it shook everything," she said. "I thought someone threw something at my house. I was scared. The kids were freaked out."

Fire Chief Dave Cunliffe said crews were called to the street around 10:30 p.m. Friday after multiple reports of an explosion or loud noise.

They found a home flattened, but a quick search of the home reveled no one had been hurt.

"It is very remarkable that we have no injuries in this incident," Cunliffe said at the scene Friday night. "To level a home is very significant."

Looking at the damage around her, Munday said she was shocked no one was injured.

"With the amount of glass that's everywhere and the house falling down and all the people that are so close, it's unbelievable nobody got hurt."

'A terrifying experience'

Firefighters reported a strong smell of natural gas when the arrived and the chief said they quickly turned off the meters at the houses next door.

"As the crews started to make their way through the debris we realized we had one house that's been levelled, we've got houses on either side that have been significantly damaged," said Cunliffe.

They were able to "dig their way through the debris and make their way into the basement area" to complete their search, according to the chief, who said he later learned no one was inside the home when it collapsed.

Neighbour Saga Musa said at first she thought it was an earthquake that shook her home.

The street is a tight-knit community, she said, adding it was "scary and sad" to see the house destroyed.

Neighbour Sajid Musa said the explosion was a "terrifying experience."
Neighbour Sajid Musa said the explosion was a "terrifying experience."( Jeremy Cohn/CBC)

"Life is precious. One second it could be OK and the next second everything is gone," she said.

Her son Sajid described the explosion as a "terrifying experience."

The home on one side of the explosion was vacant and the people inside the other house next door were able to leave safely, said Cunliffe. Wreckage from the explosion covered three or four homes down the street in either direction.

At least three of those homes were occupied and roughly 10 people had to be evacuated, he estimated.

Fire officials say the damage from the explosion is likely "substantial."
Fire officials say the damage from the explosion is likely "substantial." (Hamilton Fire Department/Twitter)

Investigators with the Office of the Fire Marshal have been notified and were expected to arrive on scene Saturday morning.

Damage caused by the explosion was "extensive," said Cunliffe. Although an estimate was not immediately available Friday night, he said the cost would likely be "substantial."