CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

2 flown to hospital after Layton house explosion

Apr 9, 2023, 11:11 AM | Updated: Oct 19, 2023, 11:52 am

Layton house explosion...

An explosion in a Layton home sent two people to the hospital Saturday afternoon. (Istvan Bartos)

(Istvan Bartos)

LAYTON, Utah — An explosion in a Layton home sent two people to the hospital Saturday afternoon.

According to Layton City Fire Battalion Chief Brad Wilkes, the man and woman were inside the home near 850 North 2175 West when the explosion happened at approximately 3 p.m.

“They were in working apparently on a basement floor, whether they were painting, sealing, we’re not sure, but the explosion happened in the floor,” Wilkes said.

After the explosion, the man was able to walk out of the basement, but the woman collapsed at the stairs. Neighbors came to help the two until first responders arrived.

“Our neighbors came staggering out of their home….they looked pretty banged up, covered in a couple (of) burns, they were definitely in very heavy shock,” said next-door neighbor Preston Tiffany.

He said the explosion caused severe damage to the home, with one side of the house blown off.

“The house is inhabitable. It will need to be torn down. It’s going to be condemned,” he explained.

Officials are looking into what caused the explosion, but Wilkes isn’t allowing anyone in until they can ensure the house is safe to enter.

“We can only look in, we won’t put any crews in the basement. The floor is unstable. All the structural members in the floor system are blown apart,” he said. “From what we can see, the basement is pretty much gone.”

Wilkes said the man and woman were sent by air ambulance to the University of Utah burn unit with critical injuries.

“Burn injuries for sure from a flash explosion, but given the damage to the house that you can see, we suspect some traumatic blast injuries,” Wilkes said.

“They just got married not that long ago,” Tiffany added. “They’re so amazing, lovely people. They have three dogs.

Tiffany said he saw all of his neighbors’ pets make it safely out of the house. He said he was shocked to see helicopters come to transport the couple to the hospital.

“They’re the type of people that, when you hear something like this happened to them, you go, they didn’t deserve that,” he said.

Neighbors described hearing a loud boom at the time of the explosion, but they didn’t initially know what caused it.

“It almost sounded like a very heavy object falling, and then the ground started shaking, so we thought it was an earthquake,” Tiffany recalled.

The side wall of his neighbor’s house fell onto his home.

“I saw a fireball roll up our neighbor’s outside wall right outside our windows,” Tiffany said. “Then saw it start caving in, in what felt like slow motion. It looks like their chimney basically blew their whole wall off.”

Wilkes said he’s never seen an incident like this.

“Depending on what happened, we do get flash fires from painting, sealing wood, any of that stuff. We get them on occasion,” he said. “There’s usually a flash fire that burns people, not an explosion, a detonation like this.

He said the department would work to determine the cause in the next couple of days.

“Whatever detonated most likely was a pilot light of one of two, you know, furnaces typically in Utah are gas, and so are water heaters,” Wilkes said.

Related: Deer Valley yurt explosion, four sent to hospital

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2 flown to hospital after Layton house explosion