March 15--A neighborhood was startled Thursday evening when an explosion rang out and injured a couple in a fire at their home in Fort Smith.
Fort Smith firefighters responded to an explosion and structure fire at a residence in the 9100 block of Fresno Circle at about 6 p.m. Thursday, Battalion Chief Mark Talley said. A couple who lived at the home were transported for hospital treatment, although Talley said he was unsure of the extent of their injuries.
The fire caused ammunition in the home to go off while firefighters attempted to put out the blaze, Talley said. No firefighters were injured.
The cause of the explosion was not clear, as fire marshals at the scene continued to investigate. The fire caused significant damage to the interior of the home, although the roof remained intact.
LaMonte Scaife, 18, was walking to the backyard of his home next door when he said the explosion erupted, knocking him off his feet.
"You could hear the bricks being dismantled from the house," Scaife said. "I could hear (the woman) moaning."
Scaife said he saw the woman trapped in the garage with severe burns and went to help her. Her husband got outside and was able to walk, but also sustained burn injuries.
"She was burnt up, like the color of my shirt," Scaife said, who was wearing a dark purple shirt.
Scaife said he moved into the neighborhood when he was 6, and that the man would come over to his house during Christmas dressed as Santa.
"We called him 'Santa,' but when he came out he didn't look like Santa," Scaife said. "His hair was as dark as mine."
Scaife said he knew the couple well, and was concerned for their well-being.
"It's such a peaceful part of town. You never expect anything like this to happen," Scaife said. "Especially so close to my house."
Copyright 2013 - Times Record, Fort Smith, Ark.