Investigators believe a gas leak may have caused the explosion that leveled a Beloit home and injured two people Sunday evening.
Beloit Fire Chief Brad Liggett says a 33-year-old woman was found inside the home shortly after first responders arrived, just before 8 p.m. on Sunday. The woman was calling for help and firefighters used chainsaws to cut a hole in the roof and pull her through the opening. A 37-year-old male was located in the basement, but it took crews almost two hours to dig a tunnel to rescue him from under the collapsed first floor of the home.
The woman was taken to a Janesville hospital, while the man was flown to a Madison hospital. Both received burns in the explosion.
Liggett says the rental home was a total loss, with a debris field radius of a least 100 feet. While first responders did smell natural gas and neighbors were evacuated, he says utility crews checking the area did not find a leak extending beyond the home.
AUDIO: Chief Brad Liggett (:16)
The State Fire Marshall’s office is assisting in the ongoing investigation.
Stan Stricker, WCLO