AFD responds to explosion at S Austin apt complex - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

AFD responds to explosion at S Austin apt complex

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Firefighters rushed to a south Austin apartment complex Wednesday morning after receiving numerous 911 calls about an explosion.

"There was a flash explosion, no sustained fire," said AFD Battalion Chief Thayer Smith said.

The apartment's back doors were blown out and debris scattered about.

Samantha Magana lives in the apartment next door and described the explosion.

"I was in the living room and I felt a bad shake and then I just heard a loud bang and thought something fell off the balcony or someone pushed something," said Magana.

So she left as fast as she could.

"I got my keys and got out and everyone was running down from upstairs and when I got down a girl was screaming from the other side," said Magana.

She says that girl appeared to have suffered a severe injury to her ankle. She and a man were taken to the hospital to be treated for burns.

At first, investigators didn't know what caused the explosion.

"One of the 911 calls we received mentioned the possibility of a meth lab, at this point we don't believe it to be a meth lab," Smith said.

Instead, investigators say it was marijuana the occupants were cooking using propane tanks.

"They use some of these boiling points to extract THC from the marijuana for hash," said APD Lt. Norris McKenzie said.

Although the explosion was isolated to one unit, the entire building was evacuated while investigators worked to secure the scene.

"They told us we're not going to be able to sleep there for a while in that building," Magana said.

An emergency crew with code compliance was sent to the complex to make sure it is safe for residents to return to the building. Police say the suspects face felony charges. We've been told that the two people taken to the hospital were transported to Brook Army Medical center for their burns.

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