Explosion at Apartment Complex Injures Four

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An explosion and fire at an apartment complex in Newport Beach injured four people, two critically, Wednesday morning.

Reports of an explosion at the complex in 200 block of Baywood Drive came in just before 10 a.m.

Three people were transported to burn centers at the local hospital, said Newport Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Ralph Restadius. They sustained severe burns to their arms and faces with possible respiratory complications, he said.

The fourth patient, a resident at the apartment complex, sustained minor injuries and refused transportation, he added.

The cause of the explosion is unknown and is being investigated by the fire department.

The three hospitalized victims were working on the water heater at the time of the incident, Restadius said, but it is unknown if the water heater caused or is related to the cause of the explosion.

There was a smell of gas when the first fire engine arrived on scene, Restadius said, but it is unknown if it is related to the incident.

Approximately $150,000 worth of damage was caused by the explosion and fire to three residences. The occupants of the three damaged apartments are temporarily displaced, Restadius said, but the everyone else was allowed back inside.

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