Glidewell, MO – Investigators say a propane leak caused the explosion that rocked a neighborhood and destroyed a home.
People living along Farm Road 76, near Missouri 13, reported a loud explosion around 5 p.m. The blast shook their houses, rattled windows, and left frightened residents wondering what happened.
According to investigators, the startling boom was caused by leaking propane that filled the basement of the home. Something ignited the gas, causing the explosion that ripped apart a portion of the house.
Amazingly, the homeowner was not injured; he was able to climb out and turn off the propane line leading from the storage tank.
“I was laying on the bedroom floor close to the road with my baby, and I just heard this big explosion. It was kind of loud,” said Irina Nothum, who lives across the street. “That was is the first thing on my mind – it was that it was propane because it was so close and it was so loud.”
Initially, there was only a minor fire in the basement. The homeowner, neighbors, and a passerby tried to douse the flames while firefighters rolled their way. However, the fire could not be contained. The flames rapidly consumed what was left of the house. Neighbors say the house was engulfed in three minutes time.
“They were trying to put out the fire in the basement, and the policeman came and then I heard the sirens go off. Flames and black smoke were coming up,” Nothum said.
The smoke could be seen for miles. In fact, the dark plumes could be seen from near the KY3 studios, which is nearly 14 miles from the house.
It took firefighters from six departments about 45 minutes to knock down the flames. The house was a total loss.
“At that point, when you have two levels fully involved, with the restricted manpower that we do have out here, it becomes a manpower and water supply situation,” said Fire Chief Nelson Prewitt, of Ebenezer Fire Protection District
Despite the explosion and intense fire, the homeowner was not injured during the ordeal.
Prewitt said, “With an explosion like that if that occurred, you are just lucky no one was injured.”
Unfortunately, he man’s pets- including at least two dogs- did perish in the fire.
While the leaking propane was determined to have caused the explosion and blaze, fire investigators are trying to determine what caused the leak in the first place.