Local News

Woman killed and daughter hospitalized in massive explosion at Berlin home

Neighbors reportedly rescued one of the women, who was trapped under a section of roof after the home exploded and caught fire.

One woman was killed and another injured after a house in Berlin exploded early Friday morning.

The explosion occured at 71 Pleasant St. shortly before 3:30 a.m., the state Department of Fire Services said in a news release. Upon arrival, firefighters saw that the single-family home had sustained “catastrophic damage, with heavy fire showing,” DFS said.

Judith “Judy” Christensen, 79, died at the scene, the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office confirmed. NBC10 Boston reported that Christensen had just celebrated her birthday on Thursday. 

Her adult daughter was rescued by neighbors after she became trapped under a section of roof, WCVB reported. The DA’s office confirmed that the unidentified woman remains hospitalized, and DFS said her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

“Very heroic for them to be able to get in, lift that up and get her out from underneath that,” Berlin Fire Chief Michael McQuillen said of the neighbors’ actions in an interview with WCVB. “It definitely was a factor in saving her life.”


Firefighters battled the flames for about an hour-and-a-half, with crews from 10 other towns assisting in the response, DFS said. The explosion’s cause is still under investigation. 

NBC10 reported that investigators are looking into whether propane or natural gas could have contributed to the incident. McQuillen told the news outlet that a company recently visited the home to examine an issue with the propane system.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com