IA – By Ryan Brinks, Times Republican

Five area fire departments joined Gilman in battling a fire Wednesday that erupted in a Dunbar home after a propane explosion.

A gas valve that was accidentally turned on in the basement spilled liquid propane that ignited when the furnace kicked on, according to the State Fire Marshall’s Office and the Gilman Fire Department. The house of Pat Rodriguez was a complete loss.

Rodriguez had been inside during the explosion but escaped with no injuries, Mommer said.

The release said fire and rescue units arriving first found flames showing along a side and roof of the single-story residence at 210 Second St. in unincorporated Dunbar, which is about five miles north of Gilman.

Neighbor Dennis Amendt and his wife were in bed when they heard a boom just after 9:30 p.m.

“There was a lot of smoke and smell but very little flame,” he recalled of seeing the fire early on before firefighters cut into the roof. “Then there were flames. It was a nasty fire.”