Lexington, KY- William McGill heard the explosion that shook his whole apartment building Saturday afternoon.
The telecommunications junior got up and looked out his window to see people running past the building, screaming it was on fire.
He didn’t wait to find out what was happening, left the building and let the fire department brief him later.
“Something just exploded, it blew all the glass out,” McGill said pointing up at the tattered strips of blinds hanging out of the broken windows at the Orlandria Apartment building on Rose Street near High Street.
An apartment on the top floor of the building exploded after natural gas built up in a wall from a leaky pipe, said Maj. Greg Stapleton of the Lexington Fire Department.
No one was hurt in the accident.
“There are seven apartments in the building, five were occupied at the time,” Stapleton said. “We took two tenants to UK hospital just to check them out.”
A small fire followed the explosion but was put out quickly. The building suffered structural damage, and all the utilities were disabled. Electricity was temporarily knocked out for the surrounding area following the blast. The explosion damaged two apartments, and another had water damage from a broken pipe.
Rick Garcia, who works in nearby buildings said he was on Kalmia, about a block away, when the explosion occurred around 1:18 p.m.
“I heard a big boom,” Garcia said. “Transformer was the first thing I was thinking.”
Garcia and Mike Newcom, another employee in a nearby building, swept away glass that was blown across the street from top story windows after the explosion.
All eight residents of the building were evacuated for the weekend. Building inspectors will look over the damage today to determine when they can move back.
“We have condemned the building for the time being,” Stapleton said.