2 people injured after explosion at Janesville duplex

Janesville officials are continuing to investigate an explosion and fire that happen Monday night.

At 9:15 p.m. crews responded to 706 Hawthorne Avenue for a report of a residential fire. When they got there they found one side of a duplex fully engulfed.

Two people were taken to the hospital, one with minor injuries and the other with serious injuries, including burns.

The Janesville Fire Department said the fire was contained to one unit, but it was hard to extinguish because natural gas was fueling the fire.

Janesville Fire's deputy chief told 27 News they're investigating the water heater. They think it's been leaking for a few days, but that gas ignited when someone inside lit a cigarette.

Additionally, it was reported that one tenant had smelled gas for a while and when the other tenant lit a cigarette, the home exploded.

"Both occupants were taken up to UW Hospital in Madison," said Jim Ponkauskas, the Janesville Deputy fire chief. "I do not know their conditions at this time. The only thing I do know is one has burn injuries and the other has more of a compression injury."

The fire was completely out after Alliant Energy got to the scene and turned off the gas.

The person who lives in the other half of the duplex wasn't hurt and is now staying with family in town.

The unit where the explosion happened is a total loss with damage reported at more than $120,000.

JFD stayed on scene throughout the night to watch for hot spots. Tuesday morning, smoke was still seen coming from the rubble.

The investigation will continue Tuesday.

To read more go to WKOW: https://wkow.com/2020/05/25/breaking-janesville-fire-dept-battling-residential-fire-after-possible-home-explosion/

Photo: WKOW

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