SHELTON, Conn. (WTNH) -- Three men were hospitalized after an explosion in Shelton.
Several ambulances were called to 67 Wopowog Trail in Shelton after an explosion was reported around 2 p.m.
Officials on the scene tell News 8 workers from Pioneer Gas Company were at the home fixing something when the explosion occurred.
"I thought it was a car accident and then I heard a girl screaming," said Bart Bakota, neighbor. "So I got outside and I see a whole house burning. The three guys just completely burned."
"These guys walking around dazed and it was a bad experience," said Michael Wheatcraft, neighbor. "They had skin hanging off of them and everything because they were burnt bad."
The house was blown off it's foundation, the chimney was laying in the side yard, and the interior walls were twisted and collapsed.
In the center of the explosion were three men: two gas company employees and the brother of the Shelton Mayor.
Two of the three men injured were Pioneer Gas workers: 24-year-old Gary Henry of Waterbury and 59-year-old Randy Fera of Stratford. The third man injured was Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti's brother, Luke Lauretti.
All three men are in critical condition in the burn unit of Bridgeport Hospital with severe burns over the head, neck, and chest.
"There had been a leak, they had believed they had cleared out the basement," said Sgt. Kevin Ahern, "and went down to light the hot water heater and there was an explosion."
Investigators say at least one propane tank was delivered Tuesday and then started leaking.
A mother and daughter who lived in the home were outside on the lawn when the house went up. They were waiting for the 'all clear' sign to go inside the home.
"The mother and daughter, were they hurt in the explosion," asked News 8's Bob Wilson.
"No," said Sgt. Ahern, "they are shocked, but were unharmed in the driveway."
The house has been condemned.
"The main beam in the basement above the hot water is shattered," said Sgt. Ahern. "It's almost completely gone."
Governor Malloy congratulated the responders Wednesday, for their swift actions at the University of New Haven.
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