Crews worked through the night and into the day on Thursday to help neighbors return to a normal life and to figure out what caused a home on Hadden Avenue in El Reno to explode, injuring one woman inside on Wednesday.
“Well, right now this is a huge safety concern for us. We're less than a block from a school, from a grade school and we've got to secure the scene,” El Reno Fire Department Chief Kent Lagaly said. He was pointing at the chimney that survived the blast but was leaning toward a neighboring house. Crews were later able to topple the chimney.
According to Lagaly, investigators from five agencies across the state helped responders. Oklahoma Highway Patrol sent its bomb squad to inspect the scene to help authorities determine what may have happened. But without any eyewitnesses, authorities are fighting an uphill battle.
“Everybody felt it in the neighborhood and were here within a minute, but nobody saw it happen,” Lagaly said. “…the lady that was living here was injured and it may be two to three weeks before we can talk to her if she even remembers what happened.”
The woman inside was still in critical condition. Authorities said she was placed in a medically induced coma overnight. But on Facebook today a family member posted “She is still slightly sedated but is breathing on her own. She can move and respond to commands. She [hears], reacts hates the tube in her throat that is there only as a precaution. She is not ready for company, maybe after her jaw surgery, and the tube is out. She hurts and is scared but her brain is fine!”
That same family member also told News 9 they would not be commenting in the near future, nor was there anyone available to speak immediately on the family’s behalf.