Brazos, NM – An explosion that killed the former chief of the Brazos Canyon Fire Department is being blamed on a propane gas leak.

The state fire marshal’s office released the findings of its investigation Friday.

The office found that heavy winter snow had piled up on the fire station’s roof top and compromised the propane gas line that connected the propane tank to the building.

The propane gas leaked inside the building and was ignited by an electrical panel.

Investigators say the explosion was quick and severe.

Michael Hays was alone at the fire station when it exploded Tuesday. He was rushed to a nearby clinic, where he was pronounced dead. He had retired as fire chief three days earlier.