PASADENA — Two men died and another was critically injured following an explosion at a Pasadena boarding house early Thursday, officials said.
The cause of the explosion, reported shortly after 2 a.m. at a two-story house in the 1300 block of El Sereno Avenue, was not immediately clear, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
“Upon arrival we found heavy smoke and flames coming from the residence,” she said.
Several men were fleeing the burning home, and told officials others may still be inside.
“Unfortunately, we found two deceased males,” Derderian said. “A third adult male was transported to a (burn center) in critical condition.”
The dead men appeared to be in their 50s or 60s, Derderian said. The critically injured man was believed to be in his 60s. All three were believed to be residents of the “boarding-type” facility.
The fire was centered in the front of the home, though it was not clear early Thursday exactly where in the house the explosion occurred.
With help from the Red Cross, 16 other residents of the home were taken by bus to an evacuation center, officials said.
Officials were busy at the scene early Thursday as they started what Derderian said would be an extensive and lengthy investigation.
Pasadena police detectives joined the investigation Thursday morning as the home was declared a crime scene. No further details were available.
PHOTOS courtesy of Jamie Nicholson/Pasadena Fire Department