Hamilton Road home explosion deemed suspicious, while fire marshal finishes probe

Damage at a home on Hamilton Rd, following an explosion and house fire. Liny Lamberink/980 CFPL

London police now say a home explosion in a south-east neighbourhood is “considered suspicious in nature.”

A three-day probe by Clive Hubbard, an investigator with the Office of the Ontario Marshal’s office wrapped up Thursday, and the investigation has been put in the hands of the police service’s Street Crime Unit.

Since Tuesday morning, Hubbard has been gathering evidence both inside and outside the 1335 Hamilton Rd. home. He could be seen collecting yellow flags that speckled the property and packing up the rest of this equipment.

READ MORE: House explosion in London’s east end sends one to hospital

“I got into the interior of the structure yesterday,” he explained.

What he found, didn’t seem to surprise him.

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“You can look at the exterior of this property and see that there’s certainly been an over-pressure event inside the residence and there’s similar damage to the structural components of the home on the inside.”

A gaping hole could be seen just above a basement window of the home’s east-facing fall, while fallen bricks at the front gave way to the wood building materials beneath.

Factoring in the damage caused by the fire, sparked by Monday afternoon’s blast, Hubbard says damage is significant. An early estimate, pegged at $500,000 remains the same.

“Anytime you have a fire of that magnitude, and what appears to be an explosion, those are pretty serious investigations,” said Det. Staff Sgt. Blair Harvey, explaining why, for so many days, a number of experts were on scene.

Members of the London Fire Department, The Electrical Safety Authority, and the Technical Standards and Safety Authority have all been a part of the investigation, said Blair.

Union Gas was also still on scene early Thursday afternoon.

READ MORE: Early estimate pegs London home explosion damage at $500K

A man with serious second and third-degree burns covering 25 per cent of his body remains in hospital, but Blair was unable to comment on whether his condition improved.

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Two other people escaped the blaze unscathed.

When asked whether police will be pressing charges in the case, Harvey told 980 CFPL the criminal investigation remains active.

“Charges have not been laid, but this investigation will be continuing,” he said.

Neighbours say the man who owns the property was out of the country at the time of the explosion.

Meanwhile, assistant deputy fire chief Jack Burt says a missing dog, believed to be living in the home, hasn’t been found.

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