Three men, including the brother of Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, are in critical condition after an explosion at a house in Shelton on Monday afternoon.
Police said there were multiple reports of an explosion at 67 Wopowog Trail in Shelton around 2 p.m. and three people were taken to Bridgeport Hospital.( Tue Sep 11 04:08:32 PDT 2012 $__output )
Mayor Lauretti said his brother, Luke Lauretti, 48, was visiting his friend and was helping two workers from Pioneer Gas Co. in the basement of the home when the blast happened.
"He was coherent," Mayor Lauretti said. "He was badly burned. There are issues there he will have to deal with."
The explosion occurred in the basement when the gas company employees attempted to light the pilot light to the hot water heater.
Randy Fera, 59, of Stratford, and Gary Henry, 24, of Waterbury, who work for the gas company, were burned and Henry suffered life-threatening injuries, according to police.
All three men were able to run from the home before being rushed to the hospital.
Neighbors reported hearing a loud boom.
"I just heard people starting to yell and scream and I knew something was wrong," Glen Spray, a neighbor, said.
The house was on fire when firefighters arrived and the force of the explosion was so strong, it blew out the basement walls and rocked the house off its foundation.
The blast also shattered the beam above the heater and buckled the floor. On Monday night, a sign was placed in front of the house stating that it was unsafe and occupancy is prohibited.
The homeowner and her daughter were outside at the time and were not hurt.
The Shelton Fire Marshal's office and Shelton police are investigating.
On Aug. 29, one man was killed and two people were injured when a propane explosion leveled a house in New Milford.