Caught on camera: Gas explosion at Chesapeake home leaves 9 injured

Ches Lofurno Road Joe and Tianna Childress FB_1539556722138.jpg.jpg

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A gas explosion at a home in Deep Creek is believed to have caused a two-alarm fire that injured nine people on Sunday, including two firefighters.

According to the Chesapeake Fire Department, the emergency calls about the explosion starting coming in around 5:40 p.m. Firefighters were at the 2500 block of Lofurno Road within minutes.

Firefighters say a neighboring home and a tree caught fire, in addition to the home where the explosion is believed to have happened. The fire was brought under control around 6:30 p.m. and fully extinguished by 8:55 p.m.

A Sentara spokesperson confirms two people injured in the fire, Faye Berry and Don Berry, are in the hospital in critical condition. The two are the owners of the home that exploded. 

Officials say the two firefighters that were injured were transported to Chesapeake General Hospital with minor injuries. 

A neighbor who lives across the street captured the moment of the explosion on his home surveillance camera, and shared the video with 10 On Your Side. 

The video shows a man riding his bicycle down Lofurno Road when all of a sudden, with no warning, the home explodes, sending debris flying across the street and into the air.

Video (App users): Surveillance video shows house explosion

Four adults were treated on the scene for minor injuries. Officials say another injured adult was transported by neighbors to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, but the extent of that person’s injuries are unknown at this time.

Multiple witnesses tell 10 On Your Side they felt their homes shake before seeing heavy smoke in the area.

Columbia Gas crews responded to the explosion scene and reportedly made the situation safe. 

Red Cross Virginia says they are assisting with the occupants of the second home that caught fire. 

Video (App Users): 9 injured after gas explosion in Deep Creek home

According to fire officials, several citizens helped to rescue the occupants of the home that exploded. 10 On Your Side’s Laura Caso spoke with one of those citizens. 

“I was terrified. Everything was happening so fast, I didn’t know if there was going to be another blow up,” said Joseph Gandia, who ran into the burning home to rescue one of the residents. “She was covered in debris, in all the hot debris, all I saw was hands coming out. I had to run in that burning house and save her.” 

Gandia lives next door to the home in the Loxley Garden neighborhood. He tells 10 On Your Side the residents of the home are like grandparents to him. 

Joe Childress lives across the road from the home. “Knocked pictures off the wall and within a couple of seconds we heard people screaming,” he said. 

Photos (App Users): Gas explosion at home in Chesapeake

While many ran away from the source of the explosion in fear, Childress, just like Gandia, ran towards it. 

“My natural instinct was take off running,” Childress said. He and Gandia helped pull the couple that lived inside the home out before the flames took over. 

The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Chesapeake Fire Marshals Office. 

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