Nearly a dozen people in northern Springfield called dispatchers on Tuesday morning after hearing explosions and seeing a building catch fire.
Three construction workers were injured in the incident that happened after a propane tank was damaged during work in an old Children’s Home building that’s under renovation for the Department of Job and Family Services in the 500 block of East Home Road, according to the Springfield Fire Rescue Division.
“There was a series of explosions and a bunch of black smoke coming out,” one caller told dispatchers.
Ten other callers contacting dispatch Tuesday morning reported hearing several blasting sounds and seeing smoke in the area.
Medical helicopters were called to transport two patients from Springfield to Dayton for non-life-threatening burn injuries. A third worker was treated on scene for injuries.
Springfield assistant fire chief Matt Smith described the explosion as “very powerful,” but also “unusual,” as similar incidents typically happen in more remote locations like farms.
Firefighters at the Springfield Station #7 on Home Road heard the explosion and walked out of the station to inspect it Tuesday morning, Smith said.
A construction worker who was on fire ran to the fire station, where firefighters assisted him.
Firefighters were able to extinguish flames of the building in minutes. The ignition source of the fire has not been determined.
The Springfield Fire Rescue Division, Springfield Police Division and the State Fire Marshal’s Office continue to investigate the incident, Smith said.
Credit: Bill Lackey
Credit: Bill Lackey
Clark County owns multiple buildings in the area.
“We did not have any employees on our Home Road campus this morning,” said Michael Cooper, county spokesman.
Home Road was blocked at Limestone Street and Derr Road.
Multiple vehicles parked outside the buildings were damaged, and at least two buildings were damaged, fire officials said.
The county’s new combined 911 dispatch center is near the scene but was not damaged.
Columbia Gas and Ohio Edison were on scene determining possible damage.
The Family Visitation Center for Clark County Department of Job and Family Services closed Tuesday because of the incident and will remain closed this week, according to Cooper.
“We felt the explosion but are far enough that we sheltered in place,” Clark County Combined Health District health commissioner Charlie Patterson said.
He said multiple explosions followed and flames burned for up to 15 minutes before being extinguished.
No nearby Springfield City Schools buildings were directly affected. Student arrivals at Roosevelt Middle School were affected temporarily. Students who ride those buses were delayed before being rerouted, and students who were dropped off also were rerouted.
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