Safford, AZ – After being released from the structure fire at 6:43 p.m., firefighters received a 2-1/2-hour break before being called out in reference to an explosion in Solomon.

Rhodes said his department received the page at 9:11 p.m. and were on scene at 9:20 p.m.

According to Rhodes, gas built up in the residence’s walls was ignited by a spark from a loose wire or plug when the homeowner closed the door. He said the resulting explosion blew the drywall off the frame walls and struck two occupants. The occupants were treated on scene by paramedics from Southwest Ambulance and were released.

Rhodes said representatives from the Graham County Electric Co-op examined the area and were attempting to locate what type of gas was in the walls. He said they were unsure if the explosion was caused by methane from the home’s septic tank or from a natural gas leak.

After initially sending department trucks home around 10:45 p.m., Rhodes paged the firefighters back out to the scene at 12:16 a.m. after workers for the Co-op found a large natural gas leak in the road.

Residents in the area were evacuated, and firefighters took a position ready to respond in case of an emergency as workers for the Co-op fixed the leak.

Firefighters were released from the scene at 1:24 a.m. Rhodes said the residents who were evacuated found somewhere else to spend the night and returned the following morning.