WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton police and firefighters responded Friday to a house fire in the southside Rutherford neighbourhood, where a school was briefly put on lock down. Fletcher Kent reports from the scene.
A man was found dead inside a south Edmonton home where an explosion occurred Friday morning.
Emergency crews were called to the home on 16 Avenue SW between 121 and 123 Street shortly before 11 a.m.
When fire crews arrived, the fire was upgraded to an explosion and the hazmat team was called in.
“Any explosion is significant. It was contained to the second floor of the single residence, so it didn’t spread to any other structures. So in the bigger scheme of things, I guess it’s not a large explosion,” deputy fire chief Scott Macdonald said.
A witness who lives nearby told Global News she was told to stay inside because of concerns regarding chemicals.
— Fletcher Kent (@FletcherKent) April 7, 2017
Edmonton Public Schools said the nearby Johnny Bright School was placed on alert for a brief time. The doors of the school were locked and kids were kept inside.
Two people who were being treated in ambulances on scene were later seen being led to police cruisers by officers, where they were seen being questioned by police officers and fire investigators.
The fire was brought under control and put out in under an hour. Seven rigs and about 28 firefighters were called to the scene.
Edmonton police were also called to the scene to investigate.
“It is definitely suspicious in some way,” Macdonald said. “It’s being treated as a crime scene at this point.”
Edmonton hazmat crews were also called to a house in St. Albert Friday morning to assist RCMP with an investigation on Waverly Drive.
“It has been a very busy day for our hazmat crews,” Macdonald said. “We do have a mutual aid agreement and we’re the northern response for our decontamination unit for our hazmat. So a request was put in by St. Albert RCMP to assist them with an investigation into a possible drug lab.”
Macdonald could not say if anyone was injured in the explosion.