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Ice falling from Breckenridge roof ruptures gas line, leading to explosion that injures 2

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Posted at 9:49 AM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 01:16:48-04

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — A natural gas explosion and fire leveled a two story house in Breckenridge Wednesday morning, injuring two occupants inside.

"I went to bed at 10:30 and woke up to an explosion," said Anthony Arsenault. "I was in mid-air, and landed on my shoulder and broke my arm."

Arsenault, 28, told Denver7 that he's still experiencing a great deal of pain, but is glad to be alive.

He said if there was a gas leak, he couldn't tell.

"It's crazy," he said. "It's absolutely insane to me. I can't believe what happened, actually happened. It's such a freak thing."

Investigators say the explosion happened around 1:30 a.m. at a home on Royal Tiger Road.

"I think it's a safe assumption that gas was a contributing factor," said Battalion Chief Drew Hoehn, of the Red, White and Blue Fire District. "Whether it was from that 'shear' type scenario, or an appliance and utility inside the residence, is still undetermined."

Hoehn said both Arsenault and his roommate are fortunate to be alive.

"We're still scratching our heads as to how they found their way out of the structure," he said.

The explosion left electronics equipment and clothing dangling from nearby trees and blew jagged edged lumber onto the roofs of nearby homes.

"Yeah, this was a big boom," Hoehn said. "No doubt about it."

Neighbor Jess Eymann was sound asleep when the explosion happened.

"I just woke up to a big boom," she said. "It shook the house. Shook me up a bit and kind of hurt my eardrums."

Eymann said one neighbor reported the blast blew out a window, and that others said it knocked pictures off their walls.

Arsenault said he doesn't know how his roommate got out of the house.

He said his roommate apparently suffered injuries to his pelvis and and lower back.

Arsenault said after he got into the ambulance, he called his mom in Denver.

"I just headed straight up," said Charmaine Topper. "I got him to the hospital, and then we swung by here and it was still on fire."

Late Wednesday afternoon, Ms. Topper helped her son recover a few items from the charred remains of the A-frame house.

"There wasn't much left," she said, "but he's going to be okay. He's alive. That's all we care about right now."