(Advocate file photo).

House in Calgary destroyed in fire following apparent explosion, officials say

CALGARY — A house was destroyed when a fire broke out following an apparent explosion in Calgary early Sunday morning, officials said, noting that several hours later firefighters were still unable to enter the building to check if anyone was home at the time.

More than 25 people — some several blocks away from the house — called 911 to report hearing a loud bang at about 4:20 a.m., said fire services spokeswoman Carol Henke.

“One caller stated that they heard a loud bang and saw smoke and flames coming from a house across the street,” she said. “Another caller said they heard a bang and glass shattering, flames visible from the second floor of a single-family home.”

Firefighters arrived on scene to find the house fully engulfed in flames, she said, noting that the fire was already starting to spread to neighbouring properties.

“It’s just too dangerous to go inside, so at this point we don’t know if there are any injuries or worse,” she said.

The flames destroyed the house where the apparent explosion happened, she said, adding that part of the roof had reportedly been blown off.

“We’re not just talking about damage as a result of an explosion here, but fire as well,” she said.

People were evacuated from five nearby homes, Henke said, adding that by 8 a.m. residents from four of those houses were allowed to return.

In addition to the home where the blast originated, one other home was badly damaged, Henke said.

“That will not be reoccupied any time soon,” she said.

Several other homes suffered less serious damage — melted siding and blown-out windows.

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