GENESEE TOWNSHIP (WJRT) -
(04/22/14) - An ambulance struck a gas line at the Mobile Medical Response, or MMR, building and caused an explosion.
The building is located near Saginaw Road and Wisner Avenue in Genesee Township. MMR employees were able to evacuate the building and call for help prior.
"I've been on almost 18 years and I've never seen a situation like this before," said Mt. Morris Fire Chief Damon Tobias. "Very scary."
And not just for responders.
Neighbors were shook up - literally.
"Shook the house real bad," said Rod Stone. He lives next door to the building. "We just got in the back door when it took off and blew up."
Amanda Barker, who lives down the road, was across the street at the gas station when she heard sirens.
"It could have been us going down the street,"she says.
"I was on my way to work when I got a phone call saying the walls blew," says Jill Keenan. She works next door to MMR. "It's crazy and lucky nobody got hurt."
The building's backside was torn apart, Tuesday morning.
"It looks like it blew right through one side to the other," Tobias says. "The dispatch was that they'd backed into the gas line and when I got on scene you could definitely hear the hissing noise."
Tobias says the explosion happed as fire crews were getting ready to approach the building to shut the gas off.
"Thankfully none of my crew was injured, or MMR people, they're all safe also," he said.
Tobias says letting the fire burn was the safest option. Consumers Energy was able to cap the ruptured line, according to a news release from MMR spokeswoman Lynn Schutter. Consumers crews remained on scene throughout the afternoon.
The building is now boarded up.
The fire and explosion remain under investigation, according to MMR.