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Cause of house explosion not yet determined

By Lynne Turner
Confederate Staff

An Ontario Fire Marshal investigator had not yet determined, at Confederate press time, the cause of a house explosion Thursday afternoon that left two people injured and the house just south of Mount Forest demolished.

County of Wellington OPP received a call regarding the house explosion at 4:26 p.m. Thursday.

Two people — 70 year old Sally Stroud and her 46-year-old son Sean Stroud were in the log house on Sideroad 2 — when it exploded.

According to family friend Dawn Tanfield, Mr. Stroud was in the basement when the explosion happened.

“There were blue flames everywhere. He went running upstairs, on fire, to find his mom,” she told The Confederate.

Mr. Stroud found her under the rubble and “dragged her out.” Leaving her with a neighbor, he went back in to the burning house to rescue the family dog, Ms. Tanfield said. The dog ran back inside and Mr. Stroud, whose nylon jacket was still in flames, went back in a second time to rescue the dog.

Ms. Tanfield said Mr. Stroud has severe burns and will be undergoing skin grafts.

“He’s probably going to lose part of his hand,” Mrs. Tanfield said. “(His mother) Sally will be in hospital for a very long time, in London, with numerous broken bones.”

Ms. Tanfield has set up a “get well wishes” book at I’m Sooooooo Bad, the Mount Forest business she owns along with husband Steve. A book is also available at Kountry Kat Mennonite Furniture in Durham, owned by friends Kathy and Randy Cameron. Ms. Tanfield urges people to drop in at either store and “jot down your thoughts to send to Sean and his mother Sally.”

Wellington County OPP officers were first on scene of the explosion and provided first aid to the victims until paramedics arrived.  Guelph-Wellington EMS responded as well as firefighters from Wellington North Township, Mount Forest and Arthur stations, and the Minto Township Fire Department.

The OPP confirmed the residence was demolished and the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshall was notified.

“The investigation is ongoing at this time and further details will be released as they come available,” the police report said.

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