Bakersfield, CA – BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – A family escaped unharmed when a propane leak made their south Bakersfield home explode, Kern county firefighters said.
Francisco Rueda turned on the stove at 6:21 a.m. to make coffee, then stepped outside, Capt. Doug Johnston said.
Rueda’s wife and three young sons were sleeping in the back of the house. Another son had just stepped outside with his father.
Then family’s kitchen and living room exploded, flames bursting the windows open.
Rosario Rueda, who is eight months pregnant, managed to escape through the back door with her children. Francisco and the eldest son were outside the house, and weren’t injured.
“I saw my mom get the kids and run outside,” said 11-year-old Francisco.
The Ruedas had moved to Bakersfield from Fresno, and had only been living in the two-bedroom house for three months. The family lost everything they owned in the fire – clothes, furniture, food, even the turkey they meant to have during Thanksgiving. Propane was the house’s only source of heat. Firefighters estimated the damage at $60,000.
The family was shaken up by the explosion, Rueda said, but are happy to be all together and alive.
“We were all scared, but we’re OK now,” Francisco Rueda said. “We lost everything, our clothing, our documents, everything. But we’re all OK.”