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Person severely burned after explosion at Rexburg apartment building

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The following is a news release and photos from the Madison Fire Department.

On Sunday at 11:21 p.m., the Madison Fire Department responded to a structure fire at Twin Pines Manor apartments, located at 160 N. 1st W. in Rexburg. A neighbor called 911 reporting a fire in an apartment with explosions and injuries.

Upon arrival, immediate medical care was rendered to one burn victim, and offensive firefighting tactics were employed.

The structure involved was a two-story eight-unit apartment building. One apartment was fully involved, and fire had spread to three other apartments. Mutual aid was requested from Central Fire District.

The burn victim was the sole occupant of the apartment where the explosion occurred and was able to get out to the sidewalk where medical care took place. All other occupants of the other apartments were evacuated without injuries.

According to the victim, fumes from a fuel can in the apartment ignited when a portable heater was turned on. The fumes exploded, resulting in a large explosion that blew the door open to a neighboring apartment and blew out the windows to two others. Fire quickly spread from the initial apartment into three other apartments.

The fire was contained and knocked down within 20 minutes from the time the fire department arrived. Of the eight-unit apartment building, four apartments have fire damage, and four have smoke damage.

Madison Fire Department sent three engines, two ambulances, and two command vehicles and Central Fire District provided mutual aid with two engines.

Officers from Rexburg Police Department and deputies from Madison County Sheriff’s Office also provided assistance. There was 26 fire personnel working the fire scene. The Red Cross was also notified to offer services to those whose apartments were involved.

The burn victim was admitted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center’s burn unit with burns covering 60-80% of their body surface.

“This was a large explosion with extensive damage,” said Corey Child, Chief of Madison Fire Department. “The other occupants of the apartment building were very lucky to get out without any injuries. Our prayers are certainly with the occupant that was burned, as well as all who have been affected.”

Further investigation of the explosion will be ongoing. Damage is estimated to be $600,000.

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