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Arlington Explosion Kills Man & Burns Another

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - One man was killed and another man was seriously hurt after an explosion and flash fire at a house in south Arlington late Thursday night. The blast happened at around 11:00 p.m. at a residence in the 2600 block of Hedgeapple Drive, close to Copperfield Drive.

The explosion caused several small fires, which emergency crews were able to quickly extinguish. Once the flames were doused, rescuers found the body of a young man in inside of the home's garage. That person has been identified as 24-year-old Jared Backus.

A second victim was found on the home's lawn with burns to 80 percent of his body, and was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Officials stated that he was in stable condition and is expected to recover. He has since been identified as 23-year-old University of Texas-Arlington student Justin Louis.

The two victims were long-time friends. Neighbors said that the injured Louis kept trying to get up to see if Backus was okay.

The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation, but preliminary reports show that they were tampering with consumer fireworks, the kind one purchases at a fireworks stand. "That's what Justin himself told me," said neighbor Tommy Glenn. "They were trying to dispose of fireworks."

Glenn said that his house shook when the explosion happened. Neighbors from as far as three blocks away called 911 before running to help out.

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