Bella Vista, AR – KHBS-TV – Bella Vista fire officials said Monday that a faulty furnace may have contributed to a weekend home explosion.
Fire officials said a couple returned from a concert shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday to find their home on Kelaen Drive in ruins. Investigators said propane caused the explosion but added that they are not yet sure about the source of the gas.
Battalion Chief Jim Basse said the blast was so intense that it moved the home off its foundation. Basse said nearby homes were not spared from the effects of the explosion.
“The neighboring homes … sections of their homes were moved off the foundation,” Basse said. “Walls were penetrated (by) timbers from the structure itself, drawers were opened inside homes, objects (were) blown off shelves, windows (were) blown out … quite a bit of force with it.”
Basse said the only part of the home that remains is garage. He said the family would most likely rely on insurance and their church for help.
According to firefighters, the family may have turned on their furnace before leaving for the concert. Investigators said they are trying to determine whether the furnace itself or a faulty valve on another appliance is to blame for the propane leak.
Bella Vista Fire Department officials said they are considering plans for a public forum on the dangers of propane systems.