KS- The Witchita Eagle – A Hutchinson man was in critical condition Wednesday, after a natural gas leak caused an explosion at his home.

Richard Richardson, 55, sustained second- and third-degree burns in the explosion late Tuesday and was airlifted to Via Christi Medical Center in Wichita, Deputy Fire Chief Mike Patterson said Wednesday.

Patterson said emergency crews learned of an explosion and a man trapped inside a house at about 11:20 p.m. Once firefighters arrived on scene, Patterson said they learned “a couple of young kids” managed to get Richardson into an alley behind the building.

Flames eventually caused a portion of the home’s roof to collapse, Patterson said, forcing firefighters to evacuate the building.

He also reported minimal damage to a nearby house.

“We’ve had some issue here with natural gas coming up through the ground from some of the subsurface storage west of town,” Patterson said. “This is not connected in any way. What caused the leak is still under investigation.”