Toler, KY – A natural gas explosion in the basement of a house at Toler in which five people were occupying resulted in two of those occupants being transported to the hospital for burns and cuts.
Firefighters said the explosion and resulting fire happened around 2 a. m. Monday, just as Pond Creek was beginning to overflow its banks and cut off access to that community near Belfry Elementary.
Belfry Volunteer Fire Department Chief Nee Jackson said firefighters were in the middle of a high-water rescue at Belfry when they received the page regarding the explosion and fire.
“We were close to the home when we got the dispatch, so we got there in just a few minutes,” he said. “The water was a few inches deep around our trucks when we got there, but it didn’t hamper us from fighting the fire.”
“All we know for sure right now is the explosion occurred in the basement where the stove and furnace were located,” he said.
Due to a secondary explosion after firefighters arrived, Jackson said the decision was made to fight the fire defensively.
“I had a great deal of concern for the safety of my guys after the second explosion so I made the decision to try just to contain the fire from a little farther back,” he said. “All the occupants were outside and accounted for, so at that point I didn’t want to take a chance of getting anyone else hurt trying to fight the fire offensively and save what we could of the house.”
Jackson said the explosion and fire remain under investigation by the BVFD and the Kentucky Fire Marshal’s Office.