A barn on a Connecticut property where a man had allegedly held his wife hostage for several days exploded Wednesday night, sparking a fire that spread to the couple’s house and left at least eight police officers injured, according to reports.
The woman, whom authorities say was severely beaten, managed to escape the Wallingford, Conn., house and notify police around 2:30 p.m. — about six hours before the explosion happened, the Hartford Courant reported.
Her medical condition was not immediately known, nor was the fate of her husband, who may have been inside the barn when it exploded, the newspaper reported early Thursday.
“This started late this afternoon with what was apparently a very violent domestic call,” North Haven First Selectman Michael Freda told FOX61. The police “were trying to coax him … out of the house and really try to calm the situation down. Then things took a turn for the worse with an explosion.”
He said the officers, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, were taken to Yale New Haven Hospital, but their exact conditions weren’t immediately known, the station reported.
It was not immediately known if any children were in the home or barn, Freda said.
After police arrived at the scene, neighbors heard them trying to coax the man out, reports said.
After the explosion, firefighters were still working more than an hour later to get the flames under control. State police said they were assisting in the investigation.
Other, smaller explosions followed the first blast, FOX61 reported.
“I felt my house shake. It felt like a bomb went off in my attic,” David DiMartino, who lives nearby, told the New Haven Register.
The blaze was still burning early Thursday, fire officials said, adding that power was out in the neighborhood and a local firehouse had been set up as a “refuge” for affected residents.
Freda said authorities suspect the property’s barn was “rigged to explode,” the Hartford Courant reported.
“It sounds almost like it was a booby trap type of explosion,” Freda said. “Based on the way the explosions took place, from what police told me, there was a series of explosions, which may indicate some sort of rigged booby traps.”
North Haven resident Joan Mazurek, 76, a retired accountant, heard what she thought was a train at her home about a mile away from the scene — only, it was the explosion.
“Then we heard all the, oh my God, all the ambulances and fire engines. The noise from all the emergency vehicles was unbelievable,” she said. “It’s a shock. Nothing ever happens like this in North Haven.”
North Haven is located just outside New Haven, home to Yale University, around 27 miles south of Hartford.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.