Apple Lane condo blast sends man to hospital with second, third-degree burns
Published Tuesday, September 23, 2014 5:52PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, September 24, 2014 7:03PM CST
A Winnipeg family is picking up the pieces following an explosion that shook a whole neighbourhood.
Officials said an explosion on Apple Lane Tuesday night sent one man to hospital in critical condition and caused $450,000 in damage.
The wall of a residence in the first 100 block had blown out at the scene, near Sturgeon Road and Saskatchewan Avenue.
From the street you can see cracked and shifted cedar blocks. Crews spent Wednesday demolishing the exploded condo unit.
A source on scene said the building is still too unstable to enter and determine a cause for the explosion.
Neighbours were in the area Tuesday night when the explosion happened.
“I looked up and I slowly saw the side of the house start to move. The whole thing moved sideways,” said neighbour Paula Eyford.
Eyford saw her neighbour emerge from the rubble, badly burnt, wearing a gas mask.
Winnipeg fire officials confirmed that one man was taken to hospital in critical condition with second and third-degree burns.
Eyford attempted to rescue the man’s dog, and hurt herself in the process. The dog was later pulled from the unit, along with several pets from neighbouring condos.
Neighbours said the man, an off-duty paramedic, was working in his basement redoing his floors when the explosion happened.
“I heard some information from him that he had been working in the basement with some chemicals doing some cleaning,” said neighbor Steven Kuzyk.
“It’s so hard to, hard to see something like this that’s so devastating for something that you know we just don’t think twice about doing,” said Sharon Stewart, who owns the unit next door to the explosion site.
Neighbours said the man's family was not home at the time of the blast.
The exact cause of the fire and explosion is not yet known and remains under investigation.
There are three units in the building. No other people were injured during the explosion.
On Wednesday, the man injured in the blast remained in critical condition.
"He remains very ill. He's suffered some significant injuries, but he's stable and undergoing treatment here at the Health Science Centre,” said Chris Broughton, president of the paramedics’ union.
He said there's a long road to recovery ahead - but Winnipeg paramedics will do whatever they can to support Schroeder and his family.
"We're used to being in the middle of things, and helping out, and to be kind of on the sidelines in the supportive role feels odd, it feels kind of helpless to some extent,” said Broughton.
Broughton said Corey Schroeder is in and out of sedation and is on a ventilator.
- with reports from Cheryl Holmes and Meghan Roberts