Fairmead, CA – FAIRMEAD – At least five people, including two children, were severely injured Tuesday when an apparent propane gas explosion sent flames and flying debris through their Fairmead home, Madera County authorities said.

An 8-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy suffered second-and-third degree burns when the “mammoth explosion … blew out the back side of the house,” said Erica Stuart, a Madera County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman.

Three others were rushed to area hospitals “because of injuries sustained from flying debris due to the magnitude of the explosion,” Stuart said.

Two adults and four children were inside the home when the explosion occurred at about 10 a.m. in this small town 35 miles north of Fresno.

Authorities were not immediately releasing the victims’ names.

Stuart said a new hot water heater was installed in the home several days ago and the propane tank was filled Tuesday morning. Initial reports indicated the explosion occurred at or near the water heater, Stuart said.

She said the girl received burns to nearly 80 percent of her body. The boy was burned over 40 percent of his body.

A cause of the explosion was not immediately available.