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Man fronts court over explosion which injured police, firefighters

A man tried to seal a bedroom and release gas from a cylinder before an explosion in which three police officers and two firefighters were hurt, according to charge sheets tendered to court.

Leon Firth, 40, made a brief appearance in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday in relation to the blast at a Middle Park flat on January 4.

Mr Firth, wearing a black suit and protective gloves, faces 17 charges comprising six counts of engaging in conduct that placed a person in danger of death, six of engaging in conduct that placed a person in danger of serious injury, four of recklessly causing serious injury and one count of recklessly causing injury.

The charges relate to the three police officers and three firefighters who were called to the flat to conduct a welfare check.

Police officers Varli Blake, Emma Quick and Tony Scully were all injured in the blast, as were firefighters Andrew Wood and Wayne Sheridan.

Firefighter Andrew McMahon escaped injury.

Mr Firth on Thursday had his bail extended to return to court on August 7.

An MFB spokeswoman said Mr Wood and Mr Sheridan had returned to work since the blast.

A police spokeswoman said the three officers had been discharged from hospital but were yet to return to work.