Beloit explosion destroys home, injures two

Beloit explosion: The cause of the explosion in Beloit, Wis. is still under investigation.

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Rescuers pulled two injured people from the rubble of a house that exploded in Beloit.

Emergency crews were called to the property around 7:40 p.m. Sunday. A 33-year-old woman was rescued about 20 minutes later and taken to a Janesville hospital with burns, said Beloit Fire Chief Brad Liggett. Rescuers pulled a 37-year-old man out around 9:40 p.m. and he was flown to a Madison hospital with second-degree burns.

Diana and Roger Smith, who live across the street, heard a big boom and saw the walls blown out of their neighbor's home.

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"There was a lady in there and she was saying, 'Help me, help me, I can't move my legs,'" Diana Smith said. "We kept on telling her that help was on the way."

Canned goods and other household items littered the front yard and neighboring driveways. Pieces of the house had blown onto nearby roofs.

"The walls went out and the roof came right down on top of everything," Smith said.

There were several small fires that Roger Smith was able to extinguish.

The rescues had to be approached cautiously, Liggett said. After securing the building, bracing was put in so the contents couldn't shift, then firefighters tunneled into the blast debris and repeated the process.

"It's a tedious process because there's a lot of debris and we don't want the building to collapse any further," Liggett said.

The home was a rental, he said.

The first Beloit police officer on the scene could smell natural gas and immediately began to evacuate nearby homes.

The explosion's cause is under investigation.

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