Blast Destroys Maine Apartment Building, 3 Injured

SACO, Maine (AP) -- Three people remained hospitalized Wednesday after an explosion that reduced a downtown apartment building to rubble and shattered windows of buildings within several hundred feet.

The explosion in the four-unit building was so severe it blew a 12-by-12 section of the roof into the street, Saco Deputy Fire Chief John Duross said. Three people in the building at the time were taken to Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford, but their injuries were not life-threatening, Duross said.

Firefighters rescued a woman who was trapped inside what was left of the second floor of the building. Another occupant made it out on his own and a third was outside the building at the time of the explosion, about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Investigators from the Maine Fire Marshal's office were at the scene Wednesday morning to determine the cause of the blast. Officials speculated that liquid propane may have been a cause.

Observers said the blast in the two-story building shook the neioghborhood and shattered windows of other buildings within 500 feet.

The building is on Elm Street, also U.S. Route 1. The road was clear Wednesday morning.