2 injured when house explodes in Janesville, tenant had smelled gas

JANESVILLE — Two people have been hurt, including one with serious injuries, after a house exploded in Janesville, according to authorities.

Fire Department Battalion Chief Ron Bomkamp said that one tenant had smelled gas for a while and when another tenant lit a cigarette, the home exploded Monday night.

Firefighters responded about 9:15 p.m. after neighbors reported the duplex was on fire.

The State Journal reported Bomkamp said one side of the duplex was fully engulfed in fire. Two people from that unit were taken to the hospital. One has severe burns. The other has minor injuries.

Firefighters contained the blaze to one unit, but struggled to extinguish the fire until Alliant Energy workers arrived and turned off the gas, Bomkamp said.

The tenant from the other half of the duplex was not injured.

The unit that had the explosion was a total loss, with $150,000 in estimated damage, officials said.