12 injured in Dorchester house explosion - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

12 injured in Dorchester house explosion

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DORCHESTER, Mass. (WHDH) - Emergency responders spent several hours Wednesday night on the scene of a house explosion in Dorchester.

“My heart dropped on the bed and I felt like it was a bomb but it wasn't,” one witness said.

Daylight revealed the damage done to the triple-decker home. One floor collapsed on top of another, windows were blown out, and the force of the explosion blew the front door across the street. Officials expressed concerned that the building could possibly collapse and moved people away from the scene as a precaution on Thursday.

The explosion occurred just before 10 p.m. on Hansborough Street. Neighbors were evacuated as a safety precaution and brought to a temporary shelter for the night.

“We heard this big boom, like something ran into the house, so we went to look to see if anything was missing or if there was a car and we saw the smoke so we came to see what was going on,” Joscelyn Smart, a neighbor, said.

Witnesses said within minutes the house filled with flames.

Fire crews extinguished the 3-alarm blaze just before 11 p.m. from the outside of the house because they were concerned about further collapse.

Boston EMS said all of the victims were found outside of the house and that many neighbors helped save them.

“I saw the side porches and the front of the house literally blown out. I ran over to the property and I heard this lady say my grandmother is in the house. That’s when me and this other gentleman named Dennis ran into the house and we helped the older lady out of the house. When we pulled her out she was bleeding from her nose and her mouth and she looked dazed and disoriented,” neighbor Nelson Martinez said.

Martinez said neighbors fanned foot-high flames allowing him to jump over and help with the rescue.

Twelve people were taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries; including two elderly people who are in serious condition.

The home was left just barely standing.

“It's off its foundation. It's tilted. Fire from the basement up through the roof, the house is totally damaged,” a Lawrence firefighter said.

Neighbors said they called National Grid earlier in the day to report the smell of gas. Fire investigators confirmed that National Grid was working on the street earlier in the day.

In a statement, National Grid said its cooperating with investigators. "However, preliminarily, we have not found any issues with our infrastructure and it appears to have been operating normally," a spokesperson said.

It's unclear what lead to a possible gas leak and investigators are still searching for a cause.

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