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Gas ruled out as cause of explosion during fire training

Investigators have ruled out methane and natural gas as the cause of an explosion of a farmhouse during a firefighters’ training exercise.

Investigators have ruled out methane and natural gas as the cause of an explosion of a farmhouse during a firefighters’ training exercise.

Wainwright fire Chief Steve Douglas said soil samples have been taken from the blast site near Edgerton and sent to a lab for testing.

Six volunteer firefighters were doing a controlled burn on an abandoned farmhouse Monday night when the building exploded, leaving a huge crater.

The group was performing a regular training exercise, something they did every two weeks without any problems.

One of the more severely injured firefighters, Bob Heim, remains in the University of Alberta hospital recovering from several injuries, including broken bones.

Werner Heim says his 21-year-old son is in good spirits, but it will take a long time for his injuries to heal.

“Part of a wall hit his legs, that’s why they’re broken and he lost his helmet, he knocked his head on the ground, he broke the arm in the process and some debris opened up the shoulder,” Werner said.

He said he could hear the explosion from eight kilometres away.

Edmonton fire Chief Ken Block said when firefighters are dealing with a live fire, things can quickly go wrong.

“If you’re responding to a live event, you’ve got your game face on and sometimes at a training exercise it can be downplayed a little bit,” said Block.

 
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