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Cause of 10th Street explosion under investigation
One injured in Great Bend explosion
Damage extended beyond the residence at 705 10th St. in Great Bend which was the scene of an explosion shortly after 3 a.m. on Wednesday. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez

One person received what were described as critical injuries in an explosion reported early Wednesday morning at 705 10th St. in Great Bend, said Great Bend Deputy Fire Chief Brent Smith. Numerous people in town reported hearing the explosion.

At 3:11 a.m. Wednesday, the Great Bend Fire Department responded to the report of an explosion and possible house fire. The location is a residence near the Baltzell Motel. Debris from the explosion landed on top of the motel’s roof.

“Upon arrival crews found a large debris field with a structure that had been mostly destroyed and was on fire,” Smith said. Crews were able to do a quick search of the structure and removed one victim who was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

“Crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire and secure the scene,” he said.  Tenth Street was closed for approximately an hour while debris was removed from the roadway.  

There was significant damage to neighboring structures and vehicles as well, he said.

The fire is being investigated by the Great Bend Fire Department and the Office of the Kansas State Fire Marshal. The cause of the fire is undetermined pending further investigation.  

The Great Bend Fire Department was assisted by the Great Bend Police Department, Great Bend Street Department, Barton County Sheriff’s Office, Ellinwood Fire Department, Ellinwood EMS, Barton County 911, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Kansas Gas Service and Wheatland Electric. 

An earlier version of this story with additional photos can be found at this link.