Investigators looking into cause of Rama Road explosion and fire
Published Wednesday, July 24, 2013 9:50AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 24, 2013 6:27PM EDT
An explosion rocked a lakefront neighbourhood on Lake Couchiching this morning, and the fire that followed completely gutted a home.
Numerous fire crews responded to a fire at a home on Rama Road near Longford Mills Road after an explosion this morning. It happened just after 8:30 a.m. and within minutes the house was engulfed, before fire crews arrived.
Police say a 67-year-old Whitby man was the only one home at the time. Neighbours say it was his cottage. The man was taken to Soldiers' Memorial Hospital in Orillia with second-degree burns to his face, and was later taken to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.
Don Sutherland has a cottage next door and rushed over as soon as he heard the boom. He says the man had “some bruises on his forehead and his head might have been a little singed.”
About 45 fire fighters from Rama and Ramara fought for an hour and a half to knock the flames down. Neighbouring homes suffered minimal damage, with melted shutters and blown-out windows. The cost of the damage to the home is currently unknown, though it is reduced to rubble and ash.
After analyzing the debris, Ramara's fire chief says something must have exploded inside the home.
But the source and location of the explosion remains a mystery. There is a natural gas line that runs to the house and investigators are looking into that.
Now because there was an explosion and given the extent of damage, the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating. Fire investigators are expected to be on scene for the next several days as they try to determine a cause.