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Two people were critically burned Wednesday night when a Peoria home suddenly exploded and then burned to the ground.
The two victims, ages 21 and 30, were airlifted to Maricopa Medical Center after the blast occurred at around 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, reports ABC News. Neighbors said they thought the explosion was an earthquake because it was so powerful that it shook their homes.
Peoria Fire Department Chief Bobby Ruiz said in a statement that the 30-year-old male victom suffered severe burns to 50 percent of his body above his waist, reports AZ Central. The 21-year-old female victim suffered burns on 40 percent of her body.
Both victims were taken to the burn unit of the medical center where both of them remain unresponsive. Neither of the victims’ names has been released.
One witness, Andre Perez, recounted the moments following the blast to AZ Central, as he evacuated his home, which is two doors down from the home that exploded.
“I was in my room when I heard the explosion. The entire house shook. When I came outside you could see the flames,” he said. He said that he then saw the two victims and they came up to him, asking him for water.
"Two individuals just had their skin melted off their hands and their chests," Perez told AZ Family in an interview.
After an investigation, police believe that the explosion was caused by a leaking gas line in the backyard of the home. The victims had been remodeling their home and investigators suspect that a gas line in the backyard had been cut on accident.
They do not know how long the line had been cut, nor do they know what sparked the fire.
Gas lines to nearby homes have been shut off for safety.