April 21, 2015 10:02 am
Updated: April 21, 2015 5:21 pm

Fatal Toronto home explosion gas related: Fire Marshal


WATCH ABOVE: While they can now confirm the blast was gas-related, they still don’t know what kind of gas. Catherine McDonald has more.

TORONTO – A preliminary investigation by the Ontario Fire Marshal indicates a massive explosion that levelled a Toronto home on Monday and left one man dead was gas related.

“There was very little fire damage to the debris,” said Wayne Romaine of Ontario’s Office of the Fire Marshal during a press conference Tuesday morning.

“Once the explosion took place, the fuel was spent.”

Romaine said the fuel, which has yet to be positively identified, was ignited from “mid-range.”

“Every fuel has a range, upper explosive range and lower explosive,” said Romaine. “If it’s below that, the fuel is too lean. It doesn’t create this.”

Dash cam video recorded around 4:20 p.m. and obtained by Global News shows a house on Brimley Rd. in Scarborough burst into a cloud of smoke as the driver backs out of a driveway nearby.

READ MORE: What caused the house explosion in Scarborough? 

Toronto Fire Services said on Monday a natural gas leak was detected and as many as 40 nearby residences were also damaged as a result of the explosion.

Toronto Paramedic Services said a man who was the resident of the home was found without vital signs and pronounced dead at the scene.

Emergency crews later identified the victim as 57-year-old Paul Zigomanis.

WATCH BELOW: Raw video captured by a nearby resident’s dash cam shows the moment a home in Scarborough exploded.

A neighbour told Global News they heard a loud bang, looked outside and the house was gone.

Police say Brimley Rd. will remain closed between Port Royal and Steeles for an “extended period of time.”

Debris was seen scattered over hundreds of metres, some of it hanging from trees and on neighbouring houses.

Officials are still working to account for all the residents of the homes affected.

Romaine said a fourth search dog has been brought in to look for bodies that may be unaccounted for.

Meanwhile, investigators have also started to move into the home Tuesday morning.

“In addition to that, we have a forensic engineering team,” he said. “We entered this process with an open mind. We are gathering as much empirical data we can.”

WATCH BELOW: Fire Marshal speculates as to what may have caused Scarborough home explosion

Romaine said the direction of the debris may lend a key clue to locating the source of the explosion.

“Rather than looking at the charring of wood, the melting of plastic, the oxidation of metal, what we’re looking at in an explosion will be the direction of the nails,” Romaine explained.

“The ripping forces both with a positive and negative pressure wave.”

With files from Tania Kohut and Andrew Russell

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