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Earthquake blamed for natural gas explosion in Ontario garage

August 9, 2012 |  5:44 am

 Fire officials said a Wednesday morning earthquake was to blame for explosion at an Ontario home that injured a man in his 70s.

The 11:40 a.m. blast blew the windows out of the two-story home and adjacent garage, located in the 400 block of West Carlton Street, and sparked a small fire inside, according to the Ontario Fire Department. A garage door also was blown off, landing in a neighboring yard.

Firefighters doused the blaze within about 10 minutes as paramedics treated the injured man on scene, officials said. He was later taken to an area hospital for an evaluation.

A fire inspector later determined that an earthquake Wednesday morning caused some items in the garage to fall, opening a gas valve in the process, officials said. The garage filled with natural gas and, ignited by the water heater, ultimately exploded.

The incident caused an estimated $200,000 in damage.

A series of more than 30 small-to-moderate earthquakes have rattled Southern California since Tuesday night, beginning with a magnitude 4.5 quake reported near Yorba Linda. Another 4.5 quake rumbled the area about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday; the smaller temblors were reported in between.

No significant damage was reported during the quakes themselves.

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-- Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

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