Emergency crews rescued a man from the wreckage of a house that exploded in Hamilton on Tuesday, rushing him to hospital after the blast that scattered debris around the residential neighbourhood.
The man, whose name has not been released, was taken to hospital with unknown injuries, police said.
David Nevin said he was on the sidewalk in front of his home when he heard a bang and saw “parts of a house flying onto the road.”
“And of course I looked toward the bang,” he said, adding his first concern was for the homeowner, who is elderly and blind, but neighbours called out and could hear him respond, so they knew he was alive.
The man uses a service dog, Nevin said, which was his next concern.
“We found the dog. He wouldn’t move. Traumatized quite a bit,” he said.
Next, Nevin said, he worried about the house itself.
“I went and got my wrench to try and shut off the gas, but the meter’s inside and the meter on the sidewalk was covered with house, so I had to let the fire department know and get out of the way,” he said.
Video taken moments after the house collapsed shows the confusion before first responders arrived. Watch below.
Police said gas had been shut down in the area, with about 200 homes affected. Several nearby homes were evacuated, but the Red Cross said the residents returned after a couple of hours.
The street was cordonned off with police tape, but photos of the house posted online show its bottom half destroyed, the roof intact but tilted forward and nearly touching the ground, and a car half-buried under the rubble.
Karen Young, another neighbour, said she lives three doors down from the house and was so close she could feel the explosion.
“I was at home watching TV, and we just felt the house shake and came out, and the house was on the ground,” she said.
“It was a dust cloud, and debris, and that was it. And of course a lot of panicking people.”
It was not immediately known what caused the explosion.