Surfside Beach, TX- The owner of a travel trailer parked out on the beach had an intense welcoming to 2008 when a New Year’s morning gas leak caused his RV to explode — with him still inside.

Although it was a jarring wake-up call, the man walked away unharmed, Surfside Beach Police Chief Randy Smith said.

At about 8:43 a.m., after a night of the intermittent bang of forbidden fireworks, the explosion sounded around the village. Excess propane gas ignited when the owner lit his stove to cook breakfast, Surfside Beach Volunteer Fire Department Chief Pete David said.

“After the explosion, he got out and went looking for something to gather his stuff and get it off the beach,” David said.

Since the incident, the RV has become a problem. As the owner is not able to afford the cost to have it towed away, the wreckage has been stowed next to the trash bin under the village’s “Welcome to Surfside Beach” sign at the end of the Highway 332 bridge.

“We want to get it away from the main entrance,” Pete Gutierrez, public works director said. “It’s an eyesore. No one’s going to get rid of it. I’m going to dispose of it myself.”

The force of the expanding gases took a far greater toll on the enclosed aluminum and wood RV than on its owner, Gutierrez said.

“Well, it’s junk now,” he said. “The blast even ripped up the harnesses for the wiring.”