The house, situated on Meridith Drive, was completely leveled in the explosion which occured at 7.40 p.m. on Sunday. The owners of the house, James and Beverly Long, appear to have been inside at the time of the explosion. They were taken by helicopter to hospital with second-degree burns.
Neighbor, Diana Smith, who spoke to reporters at the scene of the Beloit explosion said:
“There was a lady in there and she was saying, ‘Help me, help me, I can’t move my legs. We kept on telling her that help was on the way. The walls went out and the roof came right down on top of everything.”
The force of the blast caused pieces of the structure onto adjacent roofs and debris littered the surrounding area including neighboring driveways.
The explosion’s cause is under investigation. In a news release Monday, Fire Chief Brad Liggett, confirmed that the explosion seems to have been caused by gas and foul play is not suspected at this stage:
“It is suspected that a natural gas explosion occurred, but this has to be confirmed with physical evidence.”
The rescue by local authorities was tricky as Mr and Mrs Long were trapped under the roof, which had collapsed in the explosion. Fire Chief Liggett said that bracing was put in place:
“It’s a tedious process because there’s a lot of debris and we don’t want the building to collapse any further.”
Not much more is known at this time, pending a full police and Fire department investigation into the cause of the Beloit Explosion.