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Man Critically Injured in Explosion at Boyle Heights Home; Cause Unclear

Paramedics took a man to a hospital in critical condition following an explosion at a Boyle Heights house on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

The blast was first reported about 12:35 p.m. in the 1100 block of South Lorena Street, just south of the 5 Freeway, Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Amy Bastman said.

"It was quickly apparent that we did in fact have a significant explosion to a small, one-story, single family dwelling," fire Capt. Erik Scott said.

"All four sides of that building were compromised, the roof was actually lifted and there's significant damage inside," he said.

Officials encountered a man of about 40 years old in front of the home who was suffering from serious burns, Scott said.  He was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Firefighters pulled two dogs from the home unharmed, he added.

Inspectors were summoned to check on the structural stability of the home.

"Now we're turning our attention to what exactly caused this," Scott said. "We've secured the area. We've shut off all the utilities."

Nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution, officials said.