At 11:21 p.m. on Sunday, March 7, the Madison Fire Department received an emergency call reporting a fire at the Twin Pines Manor complex.
The Madison Fire Department, Central Fire Department, Rexburg Police Department, and Madison County Sherriff’s Department were all present on the scene of the fire. Collectively, there were about 26 firefighters who responded to the emergency call. The fire was extinguished within 20 minutes of the arrival of first responders.
“A male occupant had a 5 gallon can of gas in his apartment and turned on an electric heater and the vapors from the gas can exploded. That’s how the fire started,” said Corey Child, Fire Chief of the Madison Fire Department.
The male occupant sustained burns on 80-90% of his body as a result of the explosion. He has since been taken to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center Burn Center by the Madison Fire Department ambulance. The name of this man has yet to be disclosed. No other injuries were reported.
Extreme fire damage was sustained to all apartments on the left side of the building immediately surrounding the site of the explosion. The apartments on the right side of the metal stairs which run through center of the building received smoke and water damage from the firehoses. All eight apartments were evacuated.
Child said that the procedure after evacuation and emergency transport of the injured is to clear smoldering debris outside of the building and ventilate it using large, industrial fans to ensure there are no hot spots that may reignite.
Firefighters and police remained on scene hours after the flames extinguished to conduct a thorough investigation of the fire site. The building and its surrounding premises have been deemed a crime scene and are now marked off by yellow police tape. Further investigation will determine whether or not there were other causes for the explosion. No more information is known at this time.