Flameless explosion injures man, infant at Peterborg villa
Published: March 14, 2014
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ST. THOMAS - A bizarre explosion ended up sending a man and an infant to the hospital Thursday.
V.I. Fire Service officials responded to several reports of an explosion about 11 a.m. in the Peterborg area on St. Thomas.
When firefighters from the service's Lima company arrived on the scene, they found two individuals who had been staying at the villa where the incident took place. Neither of them was seriously hurt.
Firefighters found no sign of fire or smoke at the villa, Fire Service Assistant Director Daryl George said.
Firefighters found evidence of an explosion, just not the type people typically would associate with an explosion. They spotted damage to the walls, doors forced off their hinges and glass that had been blasted several feet in all directions, George said.
While the Fire Service still is investigating the scene, firefighters believe that the explosion could be characterized as a wave of pressure, George said, noting that, in such a case, the blast usually removes all of the oxygen within a space before a fire can occur. "A fire needs three elements: heat, fuel and oxygen," he said. "The explosion sucked the oxygen right out."
The man and the infant were guests at the villa, George said, and both were taken to Schneider Hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
The entire villa sustained damage because of the force of the explosion, which residents could hear as far away as Magens Bay, George said.
"It was a big boom," he said.
The Fire Service is looking into the exact cause of the explosion. Though they do not know the precise origin of the explosion, they noted that the east side of the home, specifically near the bathroom and the kitchen, sustained greater damage than the rest of the home.
- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.