Two people were taken to a hospital, one with serious injuries, after a Janesville house exploded when a cigarette was lit amid a gas smell on Monday night, authorities reported.
Janesville Fire Department Battalion Chief Ron Bomkamp said in a statement that fire crews responded to a house in the 800 block of Hawthorne Avenue about 9:15 p.m. after neighbors reported the house was fully engulfed with fire.
Fire crews found a duplex with one side fully engulfed in fire and took two people to a hospital, one in serious condition with severe burns and one with minor injuries, Bomkamp said.
Firefighters contained the blaze to one unit, but struggled to extinguish the fire until Alliant Energy workers arrived and turned off the gas, Bomkamp said.
It was reported that one tenant had smelled gas for a while and when the other tenant lit a cigarette, the home exploded, Bomkamp said.
The tenant from the other half of the duplex was not injured and is staying with family locally, Bomkamp said.
The unit that had the explosion was a total loss, with $150,000 in estimated damage.
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