BELMONT (CBS) – It was 2:25 a.m. and Paul Klemm had just popped in a batch of Ohlin’s famous doughnuts when the explosion happened just feet from where he was standing.
The Belmont bakery owner, along with employee Noureddine Hessaga, escaped with minor injuries after an oven blew up early Tuesday morning, shortly after Klemm turned it on.READ MORE: MCAS Results From 2021 Spring Exam Show Expected Pandemic-Related Drops In Math And English Scores
“It was just like a big gust of hot air just blew to the side of me. I couldn’t feel it, but you could see it around me,” Klemm said, noting he was about five feet from the oven and was saved by a stack of trays.
His hair and eyebrows were noticeably singed, but by all accounts, Klemm is a very lucky man.
“It’s a miracle that I had walked away, because I went to get a pan and I didn’t get to that pan, but the stack of trays protected me from the oven,” he said. “It’s a miracle.”
The explosion originated in the oven at the back of the building, but fire crews are still searching for a cause beyond the fact that it was gas-related.
The force of the blast took out a brick wall inside Ohlin’s, and shattered the glass window of Jerry’s Barbershop next door.READ MORE: 'Immediate Intervention' Needed At Worcester Fire Department, Report Following Lt. Jason Menard's Death Finds
“They are very lucky, to see the damage in the building and for them to be outside talking to us is amazing,” Belmont Fire Chief David Frizzell said Tuesday.
Klemm said the bakery’s been in Belmont for about 100 years, having opened in July of 1915.
Klemm says they will be able to reopen, but it’s unclear how long that will take. Chief Frizzell said that it would be a long time before a reopening, due to the extensive damage to the kitchen.
Jerry’s Barbershop was also closed Tuesday, as was nearby Teddy’s Kitchen, since firefighters had to cut power to the area. Both should reopen tomorrow.MORE NEWS: Survey Identifies Massachusetts City With The Rudest Drivers
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports