San Diego

Spark Ignites Fumed-Filled Apartment Causing Small Explosion in North Park

A spark in a North Park apartment unit filled with fumes created a small but booming flash explosion that burned one man and caused a small fire.

Officials said two men were priming the apartment when a spark, possibly from a wall heater, ignited the fumes at around 11:30 a.m.

The workers said they had exhaust fans running but they apparently weren't strong enough to ventilate the apartment.

One of the workers suffered burns on his legs and elbow but was not hospitalized. He told NBC 7 he shut a door behind him during the explosion, and thinks that if it weren't for the door he might not be alive.

A woman who lives in the apartment directly above where the explosion happened said she's never been so startled in her life.

"I was laying in bed, scrolling through my phone and next thing I hear is ‘BOOOM!’ Like the loudest boom I’ve ever heard in my life," Kelly Gatson said.

When asked how startled she was on a scale of 1 to 10, "I was like an 11," she said.

Gatson said she heard commotion immediately following the boom so she ran downstairs. That's when she saw the injured worker and flames in the apartment.

The heating unit inside the apartment had black burn marks all around it and there was a hole in the adjacent wall, but there wasn't much visible fire damage inside.

A blackened and broken door was seen on the ground outside of the apartment.

Several San Diego Fire-Rescue Department engines responded to the scene. Neighbors were briefly evacuated while firefighters tended to the flames.

No other information was available.

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