The owner of the Nanaimo home that exploded two weeks ago says he doesn’t know how gas filled the home as police appeal for information.
“We don’t know how the gas got going,” said Bjorn Larsen.
Larsen, the home’s owner lives in his primary residence just two doors away and he says the explosion also caught him by surprise.
“A flash of light and a loud explosion. Lights went out and there was screaming and I thought lightning hit the power lines or something but they came back on. There was glass everywhere. I was covered in glass,” said Larsen.
Around eight windows in Bjorn Larsen’s home broke. Larsen went outside to find out what happened and soon learned his vacant rental home had exploded.
His adult son had stayed at the home just two nights prior on Friday night.
“He stayed here the night before it happened so I was glad he wasn’t over there the night that it went up. That’s for sure. So I went over to look and a policeman was already there and they’re like don’t go there,” recalled Larsen.
Police officers told Larsen there was a gas leak. Larsen then noticed the noise.
Larsen says investigators have since told him when the hot water tank turned on it ignited the gas-filled house.
Police say they have dedicated officers on this file.
“We’re examining video and we’re continuously looking for witnesses. We know that somebody knows something. Somebody may have been on the property. That didn’t happen just instantly. We know that something happened on that property that caused the explosion. There’s a lot of information that we can not share at this point but we know for a fact that there are individuals who have information that could further the investigation. We need to hear from them,” said Cst. Gary O’Brien, with Nanaimo RCMP.
Larsen says it’s a mystery to him.
“I don’t know what any motive anybody could have except shelter. Somebody may have come back and tried to squat in the crawl space. Might have tried to get the furnace running or something but it had no power to it. The furnace was disconnected. We had a gas fitter shut it down,” said Larsen.
Larsen says he also wants to know what happened because knowledge allows you to prevent it from happening again.
Larsen says the former tenant left amicably and he was fixing it up to rent to students starting this summer.