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House explodes in Beloit, 2 injured

Published On: Jul 07 2013 08:30:54 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 08 2013 09:14:50 AM CDT
House Explosion Beloit July 7

Theo Keith

BELOIT, Wis. -

The Beloit Fire Department said a house exploded in northwest Beloit on Sunday evening.

The explosion happened at 2041 Meridith Dr. at 7:40 p.m. The first firefighters at the scene said the home was destroyed with debris on fire.

Rescue crews pulled two people from the wreckage late Sunday. A 33-year-old woman was rescued about 20 minutes after the initial call. She was taken to Mercy Hospital in Janesville suffering burns. A 37-year-old man was pulled from the rubble around 9:40 p.m. He was taken by Medflight to University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison and was conscious.

One family pet died in the explosion. Another survived, according to fire officials.

"It's a tedious, slow process. It takes a long time to get it done. We have to dig, brace the area, and reinforce the area, so it doesn't collapse on the rescuer and then dig some more," said Beloit Fire Chief Brad Liggett.

The fire chief said first responders smelled gas when they arrived. Alliant Energy told News 3 it was called at around 8 p.m. to shut off the gas and electricity to the residence. Chief Liggett told News 3's Theo Keith this incident is very similar to other gas leaks, but said the cause of the explosion is under investigation.

Eight houses were evacuated because of concerns over gas, but residents were allowed back home Sunday night, Liggett said.

Liggett also said there is no reason to believe this explosion was suspicious, but an investigation will begin Monday. Liggett said crews will monitor the scene overnight Sunday.

Nineteen fire departments assisted Beloit with the response.

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