Crews investigate explosion at Memphis duplex - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Crews investigate explosion at Memphis duplex

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By Janice Broach - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Police and firefighters responded to an explosion Wednesday afternoon at a duplex in the 1200 block of Harbert Avenue in Memphis.

Video from Chopper 5 showed heavy damage to the house, but little to no flames. Witnesses reported hearing one or two loud booms.

"Like two diesel trucks exploding," neighbor Daniel Lewis said.

A Memphis Police Department spokesperson one victim was transported from the scene in critical condition, suffering second degree burns.

Bill Browder described the injuries suffered by the woman, his wife Vicky. 

"She got second and third degree burns over 30 percent of her body," Browder said. "We're just praying a lot. She's on a ventilator. She is sedated."

Browder said his wife does not know what happened, but she was conscious when the ambulance arrived.

"She was able to tell them she had laid down for a nap. She woke up. She smelled something funny. The next thing she knew she was in the ambulance," he said.

Fire department investigators say a gas leak caused the explosion. It came from a disconnected gas line to the stove, but they don't know what sparked the gas.

Browder said thier landlord was putting in a new stove, but had not connected it because he needed a particular connector.

Browder said he dropped his seven-year-old son off at school and talked to his wife at 1:30 p.m.

"We don't know how you can leave your house one morning at 7:30, and at 2:30 get a call your wife is being rushed to the hospital," Browder said.

Browder added that he and his family are praying - the next two days are critical.

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