The major crimes unit spent Sunday surveying the scene of a violent explosion in Laval Sunday morning that has left one man severely burned.

A home at 1095 du Coteau St. in the St. Francois district exploded at 3:30 a.m. and then set on fire, explained Laval police. The home was completely demolished.

Pierre Jean-Claude Nicolas, 45, escaped the home but suffered second- and third-degree burns to 40 per cent of his body, said Laval police Const. Franco di Genova.

Neighbour offered assistance

Neighbour Amjad Taha said he found Nicolas lying on the ground outside the home.

Taha said he grabbed a small rug and had the man lay down on it. Taha said he could see Nicolas's face was burned, and he began to cut off his clothing.

"I noticed his shirt was totally burned and stuck to his body," said Taha.

He asked if the man's wife or children were inside at the time of the explosion. Nicolas said they were not.

Di Genova said it's amazing no one was killed when the home was levelled.

"Taking into consideration what we have here, nobody died it was only one person that was injured," he said.

Nicolas was taken to the burn unit at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Montreal's Plateau Mont-Royal.

Motive unclear

Police said they have no idea how the explosion and ensuing fire began, but that they smelled an accelerant upon an initial inspection of the territory.

"It was an explosion followed by a fire. The first investigators on the scene did find some traces of an accelerant so once that was found it now became a major crime scene," said di Genova.

Police said they can't speculate on a motive and Nicolas has never been in trouble with the law.

The investigation will continue for several days.