FD: Man suffers serious injuries after explosion in Gilbert garage

GILBERT, AZ - A man suffered serious injuries after an explosion in the garage of his Gilbert home on Sunday.

The explosion happened around 4 p.m. at the home near Warner Road and Val Vista Drive.

Gilbert Fire Division Chief Brian Ruffentine said when crews arrived they found the victim in the driveway of his home with significant burns over his chest, legs, arms and face.

The man was taken to Maricopa Medical Center in serious condition.

Ruffentine said the man told firefighters he was doing renovations on the house when he went into the garage and lit a cigarette, causing an explosion.

The man said he believed the explosion was caused by the water heater.

Ruffentine said that it was actually fumes from paint thinners and oil rags that caused the explosion.

The force of the blast was enough to bulge the garage door outward, Ruffentine said.

Ruffentine said the burn victim was home alone at the time and no one else was injured.

As crews were wrapping up, they discovered elevated readings of natural gas in the neighborhood. A perimeter was set up and some neighbors were evacuated from their homes.

Ruffentine said Southwest Gas has been called out to investigate the source of the gas since the neighborhood is not plumbed for natural gas.

Just before 11 p.m. the Gilbert Fire Department said on Twitter that the gas line had been secured but the evacuation would continue through the night to allow the full release of the gas. They said evacuees would be staying with family, friends or at hotels for the night.



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