MONTGOMERY County (KHOU) — Debris spanned 300 feet wide and nearby residents felt their own houses shake when a home exploded Tuesday morning, critically injuring two women and an 8-month-old boy, according to the Montgomery County Fire Marshal's Office.
The explosion happened around 9 a.m. at the home in Dobbin, northwest of Conroe. The blast sent the refrigerator skyrocketing out of the house, which was leveled, and landing on a car outside. Good Samaritans rushed to the site to see if anyone had been hurt.
They found two sisters, ages 65 and 58, and one of the women's infant grandson in the debris.
"The initial reports that we have is that at least several good Samaritans, including a trooper and a consolidated phone employee, who were across the street. Once they heard the explosion and they saw that, they went into the property and they were able to pull the victims out and our understanding of it is they actually went in there and were able to get the baby out of the debris and get them to the firefighters as they were arriving," said Fire Marshal Jimmy Williams.
The fast action by the Samaritans helped to carve out precious time and paramedics were able to immediately place focus on the victims.
"They were handing off those victims to the firefighters. The firefighters, from the moment they arrived, had very little fire. It was all medical care for the critically injured patients," Williams said.
The women were airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital for treatment and the baby was taken to UTMB Galveston Hospital to be treated for burn and trauma injuries.
Investigators were then left to find out what exactly happened.
"As you can obviously see, we have a home that is devastated, completely demolished. We have parts of it in the trees. We have a debris field of 300 feet wide. We are looking at what could have caused that. There are no other explosives in the house. This home is not served by natural gas. It is served by liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, and that is pretty much the only thing that could have caused this significant explosion in the house," Williams said.
The investigation could take days and there were many unanswered questions.
"We are looking at those systems, whether there was a leak, whether there was an ignition or how that ignition occurred, where that leak occurred? Obviously, was it in the house, was it at the tank? There are a lot of factors that will all be part of our investigation in the days to come," Williams said.