Explosion sparks fire in Essex Junction apartment house

Published: Nov. 21, 2018 at 5:17 PM EST
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A small explosion sparked a fire in a multifamily apartment house in Essex Junction Wednesday afternoon.

It happened at about 1:30 p.m. on Pearl Street right down the road from the fire department. Heavy smoke was coming from the door of the building when firefighters arrived.

There are five apartments in the building but no one was home at the time. The fire left two of the apartments unlivable.

One witness was outside when it all started.

"I came back outside and I saw an ambulance and a police car blocking Pearl Street, and then all of a sudden, I heard a glass explosion and realized the house across the street was on fire," said Kate Morrison of Essex Junction.

"Our initial crew came in and started kicking doors open to make sure everybody was out. Once we confirmed that, the same crew went to the second floor and found the actual scene of the fire in the upstairs bedroom," Essex Junction Fire Lt. Richard Smith said. "So the fire started in a bedroom. We were able to contain the fire and actually keep it to that same exact location."

Firefighters found several computer systems in that bedroom but they are still investigating the cause of the explosion and fire.