Two adult males were transported by ambulance to the hospital in critical condition Thursday afternoon after a reported explosion at the Garfield Apartments located in the 500 block of North Fanning Avenue.
An Idaho Falls Fire Department news release said firefighters and Idaho Falls Police officers responded to the scene at about 1:30 p.m. after a caller told dispatch that there was a “huge explosion” on the third floor that caused windows to blow out and shook the entire building. There also was a report that there was a propane tank inside an apartment.
Four people were inside the apartment at the time of the incident, the release said. Aside from the two men who were hospitalized, a child and another adult male had minor injuries but were not transported by ambulance. There were no other injuries to civilians or first responders, the release said.
Upon arrival firefighters reported heat and smoke coming from the third floor of the large apartment complex, the release said. There was a small fire that was isolated to one apartment which was extinguished quickly. While the explosion and fire caused only minor damage to the apartment, the extent of the structural damage to the entire complex is unknown, the release said.
Four ambulances, two engines, the ladder truck, one battalion chief, and two chief officers responded, as well as several police officers, the release said. Intermountain Gas and Idaho Falls Power responded to secure utilities. Police officers closed roads in the immediate area and assisted with evacuations. The city’s building inspector responded to evaluate the structural integrity of the building, the release said.
The fire department’s Fire Prevention and Investigation Division is investigating the cause of the explosion and fire.
Assistance is available to anyone who may have been displaced by the explosion. Any of the complex’s residents who do not have a place to stay or need immediate assistance can contact the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy of Idaho at 208-471-8111 and/or the American Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767.