Arlington, VT – An explosion inside an Arlington home on Thursday blew out windows, knocked doors off their hinges and sent one man to the hospital via helicopter.
“It appears pressure built up in the basement and then blew up and out,” Arlington Fire Chief Jamie Paustian said on scene.
The resident, Greggory Messenger, 28, sustained burns to his upper body and hands, police said. The home, on Raven Rock Road, had a propane furnace in the basement, Paustian said, and two white propane tanks in the front yard. He said Vermont State Police Detective Sgt. James Cruise, a fire investigator, had been contacted to determine a cause.
Cruise could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
When fire crews arrived at about 1:30 p.m., there were no flames, and only one small charred area, in the basement.
The victim, who was able to dial 911, was outside the home. “The occupant had facial and hand burns that appeared to be from steam or hot water,”
Paustian said. “They were severe, probably second or third degree.”
Messenger was transported by Arlington Rescue Squad to the “highest elevation” point on Route 7, south of Arlington, where he was airlifted to
Westchester (N.Y.) Medical Center’s Trauma Burn Center, according to police and scanner reports.
Traffic on Route 7 was shut down for about a half hour in both directions at about 3 p.m.
The building is the beige house at the intersection of Raven Rock, a narrow dirt road, and Glebe Lot Road. Raven Rock is off Red
Mountain Road, which is off Route 7A in Arlington.
Two picture windows were completely gone on the home’s first floor, as was the siding around them. Two doors, which led to a second-floor porch, were
knocked off their hinges. “It was a mess (inside the house),” Paustian said.
Fire crews from Manchester, North Bennington and Shaftsbury responded to the scene, as Arlington crews were tied up at two local brush fires. “Mutual aid worked perfectly today,” Paustian said, “worked how it’s supposed to.”
About 15 firefighters and two trucks responded to the scene.