Mancelona, MI – A Mancelona man and his wife were hospitalized after a gas-related explosion leveled their mobile home.
Angela and Darryl Fitzpatrick were rushed to Munson Medical Center shortly after their single-wide mobile home on Wayside Lane in Mancelona Township exploded around 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Mancelona Fire Chief Ed Sayre and neighbors said.
Darryl Fitzpatrick was transported to Grand Rapids’ Blodgett Regional Burn Center, where he was in stable condition Saturday evening. Angela remained in fair condition at Munson, Sayre and hospital officials said.
“I know they both went to the hospital with burns on them, but they are going to survive,” said Sgt. David Kopkau of the Antrim County Sheriff’s Department.
State and local fire inspectors believe gas leaking into the home’s crawl space fueled the blast that demolished the mobile home and launched debris into nearby trees.
“We came up with an accidental fire caused by ice falling and damaging a gas line, which caused the house base and the building to fill up with propane,” Sayre said. “When the man decided to ignite the furnace, it caused the explosion.”
Brian Scott lives on nearby Wetzel Lake Road and drove by the site after hearing about the explosion.
“It was shocking. It’s not something that happens every day,” Scott said. “It’s hard to believe anyone lived through that explosion by looking at it.”
Sayre said the couple have two older children who were not home at the time. The blast caused a small fire that firefighters extinguished shortly after they arrived, Sayre said.
“When we got there, they were out and in the neighbor’s house,” he said of the couple. “It’s just rubble all over the place. There is no structure left at all.”
Authorities believe Angela Fitzpatrick was in bed; they were unsure of her husband’s location when the gas ignited.
The American Red Cross has been contacted to help the family, Sayre said.