Blast rocks Denny’s |

Blast rocks Denny’s

Two people were injured in an explosion Saturday afternoon at Denny’s restaurant, which was believed to be caused by a gas leak but remained under investigation Sunday, authorities said.

One of those injured in the 3 p.m. blast was a female customer who had glass in her eye, and the other was a 21-year-old man, according to South Lake Tahoe Fire Capt. Greg Gstettenbauer.

South Lake Tahoe police Sgt. Shannon Laney said Saturday that the explosion was not being considered a criminal matter.

The explosion knocked out part of the front of the building at Al Tahoe and Lake Tahoe boulevards, exposing beams and shattering glass. The building was boarded up Sunday and surrounded by police tape.

“The building sustained major structural damage,” Gstettenbauer said.

Gstettenbauer said leaking gas apparently pooled in the attic over several days and then was ignited by an unknown source.

“This is unusual for any type of building,” he said. “There was a crack in the pipe by a meter. There was a snow load on the meter that cracked the piping, which created the leak.”

Gstettenbauer said Denny’s did not appear to be in violation of any health or safety codes related to the explosion. The building will be closed indefinitely.

On Saturday, Barton Memorial Hospital reported that three people had been treated for injuries after the explosion, but Gstettenbauer said Sunday that only two had been injured. The reason for the discrepancy was unclear.

– Paul Dunn and Jeff Munson of the Tribune contributed to this report.

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