7-year-old boy seriously injured in Vernon house explosion, coll - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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7-year-old boy seriously injured in Vernon house explosion, collapse

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Multiple people were injured in a house explosion and collapse in Vernon. (WFSB) Multiple people were injured in a house explosion and collapse in Vernon. (WFSB)
Multiple people were trapped after a house explosion and collapse in Vernon. (submitted) Multiple people were trapped after a house explosion and collapse in Vernon. (submitted)
Emergency crews responded to a house explosion and collapse on Thursday. (Vernon Police photo) Emergency crews responded to a house explosion and collapse on Thursday. (Vernon Police photo)
VERNON, CT (WFSB) -

Four people were rescued after an explosion at a home that eventually collapsed in Vernon on Thursday afternoon.

The incident happened at a home on East Street in Vernon, at about 4:15 p.m.

Vernon Police said seven people were inside the home when it collapsed. Three of them were outside when responders arrived, and four were trapped.

As of 6 p.m., all of the victims were rescued from the home, and six were taken to hospitals.

Four children were taken to Connecticut Children's Medical Center on Thursday, all under the age of 16. Three of the four children were admitted to the hospital.

A 7-year-old boy is in serious condition with significant injuries. A 15-year-old girl was also taken to Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Officials couldn't comment on the exact extent of their injuries.

"These types of injuries can be significant and often times do require surgical intervention and intensive unit level care," said Dr. Brendan Campbell.

An 11-year-old girl and 12-year-old girl were also taken to Connecticut Children's Medical Center. They were found outside the home when first responders arrived.

A 23-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman were taken to Hartford Hospital. They are listed as being in critical condition.

A 60-year-old man was also found outside the home and refused treatment.

Eversource and the gas company were called to the scene.

Ambulances and crews from emergency departments from surrounding towns responded to the scene as well, along with Connecticut State Police.

Police said it is unclear at this time what caused the explosion and collapse, but investigators are working to determine that.

"We have a team of investigators, the Vernon fire marshal together with the Connecticut State Police, Vernon police investigators, members of the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms have also been called in for their expertise as well as some folks from the DEA," said Vernon Police Lt. William Meier.

The house is believed to have been a multi-family home.

Police said there is at least one other person who lives at the home who was not home at the time of the explosion.

Gov. Dannel Malloy also went to the scene on Thursday night.

Relative Jennifer Morgan was overcome with despair on Thursday talking on her cellphone to family members at the hospital as she stood outside the collapsed home. Her anguish was palpable.

"Shock, just shock, you don't have things go through your mind other than that you want to get there, you don't want it to be what you hear. You don't want any of that to be true," Morgan said.

The explosion on Thursday was so fierce, that a front door was blown off across the lawn.

"The explosion went, the building shook. We thought someone actually hit the building and then we ran out," said neighbor Janice Shattelrowe.

"The first thought I said to my husband is 'did the children get out' because I knew there were children that lived there. You don't know what to say because it's such a heart wrenching thing to walk down the street and see this house that was here this morning is now caved in," said neighbor Megan Liebe.

Click here to see more photos from the scene.

To watch drone video sent to Eyewitness News by viewer Michael Nieves, click here.

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