Durham County

Blast, fire leaves man with severe burns to upper body

A man was severely burned Thursday evening in an explosion and fire at a residence at 1007 Colfax Street, Durham Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Iannuzzi said Thursday night.

Iannuzzi said firefighters were dispatch at 6:02 p.m. Thursday to a reported explosion at the site. On arrival, he said firefighters found an adult male on the sidewalk with severe burns to his upper body and arms. They also reported light smoke from the roof of the one-story residential structure and requested a full structure fire dispatch.

The fire was extinguished in about six minutes.

Iannuzzi said the injured man was transported to the UNC Burn Center by Durham County EMS.

The explosion occurred when the injured man entered the bathroom, Iannuzzi said, adding that the force of the blast dislodged several walls and the floor. The American Red Cross was called to assist two adults.

Twenty-five firefighters responded to the call. Fire investigators, the Durham Police Department forensics unit, and PSNC Energy were investigating the cause of the blast, Iannuzzi said.