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Eyewitness recalls explosion that resulted in fatal fire near Cornwall, Ont.

South Glengarry, Ont. -

South Glengarry resident Michael Fenn says he witnessed one of the explosions that killed one person and destroyed three homes near Cornwall.

Fenn tells CTV News Ottawa he heard a bang around 7:30 a.m. Thursday at his home on Highway 2 near Malibu Lane. He says his daughter told him the neighbour's house had blown up.

"So I ran to the back door and looked outside and I saw another explosion," Fenn said.

"Which led me to running out of the house, grabbing my pets and my family; I've got three kids."

"The propane tanks were exploding," he said.

Ontario Provincial Police say they found human remains after extinguishing Thursday's fire in South Glengarry.

Fenn says it was the explosion of propane tanks that caused the fire to spread to surrounding homes.

"I saw the home's foundation; the house lifted right off the foundation. The propane tank from his neighbour's house landed on Hamilton's Island, which is an island right across the river here."

"As soon as I saw that, the second explosion that lifted the rest of the foundation up, and I said, 'I'm out of here.'"

Firefighters evacuated 10 homes surrounding the scene. Those residents have since been able to return to their houses.

Fenn says he was worried the fire could have been much worse, given all the homes in the area are equipped with two large propane tanks due to the lack of gas lines in the rural community.

"And I was certain that this flame was going to hit my tanks and was going to go up, so I tried to distance myself up the road as far as I could."

Police were not able to provide any further updates on the investigation on Friday. The cause of death and the cause of the initial fire are both still under investigation.

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