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Explosion shakes neighbourhood in north end

July 26, 2019

Crews were called to a house engulfed in thick black smoke and heavy heat located at the 2400 block of 7 Avenue North Friday afternoon.

Homeowner Bryan Beekman says earlier that day he allowed a friend to stay in his garage.  The friend and his girlfriend moved in early that morning.  Beekman says he invited his friend’s girlfriend into the basement to have a beer, moments before the blast occurred.  After the explosion, which was felt by surrounding neighbours, Beekman, who is a uniped says he quickly evacuated himself and his two dogs from the house, leaving his prosthetic leg and wheelchair behind.  As he was exiting, he says he smelled chemicals burning in the garage which led him to suspect that drugs were being cooked in the structure.

A bystander says the girlfriend of the guest fled the scene shortly after telling fire crews that she had lit a candle shortly before the explosion happened.

Acting Platoon Chief for the Lethbridge Fire Department Shawn Folk says one firefighter was taken to hospital with minor injuries.  Damage is estimated at $200,000. Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services have since completed their investigation. There is no conclusive evidence to determine the cause of the fire but it is deemed to be accidental.

See also: Homeowner Believes Guests Were "Cooking Drugs" Prior to Explosions