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Gas Leak Sparks Explosion at Duplex in Janesville

An Explosion Monday Night at a duplex on Hawthorne Ave in Janesville was caused by lighting a cigarette near a natural gas leak according to the Janesville Fire Chief Ron Bomkamp. Two residents of the duplex who lived in separate units were taken to the hospital one with serious injuries and the other had minor injuries, a dog was also rescued and taken to an emergency vet hospital. Residents said they smelled gas near a water heater for several days but the fire department did not know if the smell had been reported prior to the explosion. Several neighbors heard a booming sound and felt their houses shake and arrived at the scene before the fire department. One of the neighbors saw a woman who had presumably been ejected from the building lying underneath a mattress and pulled here to the side of the yard to wait for first responders. The call of the explosion was received at 9:15 and just shortly after 10pm the fire was contained to one structure and nearby residents were relocated for the night because of smoke. The Fire Department was on the scene till after 11pm on Monday.