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Discarded cigarette causes explosion and house fire

GRANITE QUARRY — Fire officials say a discarded cigarette caused an explosion that sparked a fire at a Railroad Street home early Monday morning. There was also some fire damage at a house next door, officials said.
Granite Quarry Deputy Fire Chief Bill Fraley said there was an oxygen bottle located in a shed near the home at 237 Railroad St.
Shortly after 4:30 a.m., the firefighters actually heard the explosion from the station about two blocks away, Fraley said. The house was pretty involved, he said, when firefighters arrived. The shed was attached to the house, which caught the house next door on fire as well.
Firefighters called a second alarm because of the explosion and reports that there were people still inside the structures. The force of the explosion blew the tin roof off the shed. The second home had damage to the siding and cracked windows from the explosion.
Fire crews with Granite Quarry, Salisbury City, Rockwell City, Faith, Union and South Salisbury fire departments as well as Rowan Rescue Squad and Rowan EMS responded.
No one was injured, Fraley said.
Four people were in the home at 237 Railroad St. and three people inside the house beside it. All the occupants were able to get themselves out safely, Fraley said.
Once the explosion happened, the fire spread rapidly, Fraley said.
Fire Investigator Deborah Horne said the Fire Marshal’s Office believes the fire was an accident and the person discarding the cigarette did not do so maliciously.
The fires were under control about 5:15 a.m. and the last fire unit left the scene about 8 a.m.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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