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Open gas line blamed for Beloit home explosion

BELOIT, WI (WTAQ) - An open gas line is being blamed for a house explosion in Beloit that injured two tenants.

Authorities said Todd and Tara Purdy were installing a new gas stove on Sunday night – and they did not realize a natural gas line in the basement was uncapped.

Fire officials said the basement became filled with gas, and something in the basement caused the gas to ignite.

Todd Purdy, who’s 37, was in critical condition Monday night at UW Hospital in Madison with second and third degree burns. 33-year-old Tara Purdy is also at UW Hospital, in fair condition at last word with cuts, bruises, and minor burns.

The explosion was so powerful that parts of the house landed on neighboring roofs – and canned goods were among the household items pushed into the front yard and neighboring driveways.

Beloit Fire Chief Brad Liggett said firefighters had to tread carefully in rescuing the couple. He said braces had to be installed, so the contents of the blown-out building could not shift – and then tunnels were set up to reach the tenants.

The house was valued at just under $50,000.