Published Monday, January 28, 2013 7:28AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 5, 2013 10:58AM EST
Neighbours of the family affected by a Sunday night house explosion in southwest Kitchener say the victims were great people to share a street with.
“They are friends of my children. My children were very, very upset when they heard,” said neighbour Nevenka Nikolic.
The explosion occurred Sunday Night, just before midnight, at the house on the corner of Activa Avenue and Isaiah Drive.
When onlookers first arrived at the scene, their immediate concern was for the family. Masih Rashed says the family’s matriarch was on the roof trying to attract attention.
“She was screaming for her child, not in English … but we could tell there were more people inside,” he said.
“The husband couldn’t walk so people had to drag him outside.”
The explosion produced a blast that could be seen from across the neighbourhood.
“Almost a kilometer away, I could see the fireball,” said neighbour Zohaib Raja.
People living closer to two kilometers away say they could feel their house shake.
“I thought it was an earthquake at first,” said Austin Koehler.
Neighbours say a family of four lives in the house – a mother, a father, a boy in high school and a girl in Grade 6.
All four were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The father was the worst injured of the four, with the other three quickly released from care.
“When you arrive at a scene like this, it’s one of the little things … that you give a quick thank you that everybody was alive on arrival and seems to be in relatively good condition,” said Tom Ruggle, Kitchener’s chief fire prevention officer.
The Red Cross is making arrangements for the family.
Investigators were at the scene of the explosion Monday, but were unable to enter the remains of the building as it had yet to be declared safe.
Police say they do not believe the cause of the explosion to be suspicious. The Ontario Fire Marshal has been called in to aid with the investigation.
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