Baby Dies in North Carolina House Explosion

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --

Fire investigators believe a natural gas line leak caused a north Charlotte house to explode late Thursday.

MEDIC said a baby girl was killed and two adults were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. One of the adults has been transferred to the burn center in Chapel Hill.

The explosion leveled the home and damaged at least three others.

Police have blocked off Wellingford Street, which is not far from the intersection of North Tryon Street and West Sugar Creek Road. They expect it to be blocked off for some time while the investigation continues.

Three homes near the explosion were evacuated, including the one directly across the street and the two on either side, while fire shot from the gas line Thursday night. The gas was turned off to the entire neighborhood in order to let the line empty out, thus putting out the fire.

Firefighters said a neighbor on Wellingford Street called around 6 p.m. Thursday to report smelling gas. Firefighters checked it out, but didn't find a leak. About an hour and a half later, the house explosion occurred.

The fire crew that pulled the baby from the rubble is the same that responded to Wellingford Street earlier in the evening. Fire officials said the firefighters will undergo a stress debriefing Friday to help them deal with the trauma.

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