Police drugs unit now leading investigation into Kitchener house explosion

KITCHENER — The explosion that injured four people and caused serious structural damage to a townhouse on Elm Ridge Drive is now under a criminal investigation.

Waterloo Regional Police have executed a search warrant at the home, seizing evidence “that is consistent with illicit drug production.”

They expect to lay criminal charges, police said in a news release late Friday afternoon.

The police drugs and firearms unit is now leading the criminal investigation.

Details into what actually caused the blast have not been released.

The explosion shook the neighborhood shortly before midnight on Wednesday.

A man and a woman were taken to an out-of-region hospital with serious injuries, and two children were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. The children have since been released.

The man remains in critical condition and the woman suffered substantial burns to her hands, said Nancy Macdonald-Duncan, director of fire investigations at the office of the Ontario Fire Marshal.

Residents of the two units next to the home where the explosion happened were temporarily displaced, but were allowed back into their homes on Thursday night.

A Grand River Transit bus provided temporary shelter and the Red Cross helped those displaced find lodging.

Several residents in the area told The Record they slept through the explosion.

Investigators will likely remain at the property for one or two more days, said Macdonald-Duncan at the scene on Friday.

“We’re very much in the preliminary stages. There is a lot that is involved in a fire investigation. There’s not just the on-scene investigation,” said Macdonald-Duncan.

Crews have been taking samples from the home to be tested and are working through a process of elimination to uncover the cause of the explosion.

Processing samples from a fire scene can sometimes take several months, she said.

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