Saugerties, NY – An elderly man suffered minor injuries before he was pulled to safety by two town of Saugerties police officers Monday night after a propane explosion in his home caused significant structural damage.
Centerville/Cedar Grove Fire Chief Randy Ricks, said that the 2-story brick home at 10 Fite Road was “a total loss,” but said the homeowner was lucky to escape with minor injuries. William Dooley, the sole occupant of the house, was reportedly in the bathroom when he turned on a faucet, in turn starting a water pump which sparked the explosion.
Responding to an emergency call for a person in need of help, authorities arrived at the scene a few minutes later to find that the force of the explosion had put out any fire.
Saugerties police were first to arrive on scene and quickly helped Dooley, who was reportedly disoriented by the blast, away from his house. It was not clear how officers reached Dooley. Ricks said town police acted quickly and wisely with the smell of propane still thick in the air.
Ricks said that the power of the explosion blew out the rear and side walls of the home, as well as the front windows. Firefighters were unable to make entry into the home because of the extensive damage and used a tower ladder to reach the roof.
Fire authorities contacted Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corp. and the county Arson Task Force, although the fire is not considered suspicious.
Dooley was assisted by the American Red Cross and was provided temporary housing at the Comfort Inn. Also assisting at the scene were the Mount Marion and Ulster Hose fire companies, as well as Diaz Ambulance.