Bois D’ Arc, MO – An explosion at a home along Farm Road 89 in Greene County Wednesday was likely fueled by a propane leak.
“It just sounded like an IED going off,” Neighbor Brooks Milioni said.
The scary scene was likely caused by a gas that many people in the Ozarks use in their homes every day.
“This is the most destroyed house I’ve ever seen from an explosion like this,” Brookline Assistance Fire Chief Ken Williams said. “Propane, when it turns to gas, can fill a large area quickly and it takes a very small ignition source for it to cause an explosion.”
Standard propane tanks hold about 500 gallons of gas. The Brookline Fire Chief estimates that it was about 30 or 40 gallons of propane that leaked out and caused the explosion west of Springfield.
Leevon DeCourley is the service manager at Kimberling City Plumbing and says while propane is an efficient way to power appliances like water heaters, stoves, and furnaces, it’s also something to use with caution.
“If you do have a leak, you might not smell the leak or notice it until it’s too late, until it has filled the room and then you’ve got problems,” DeCourley said.
He says propane is heavy, so it sometimes stays below the floor causing the leak to go undetected, which was likely the case with the explosion Wednesday.
“It’s best to check out your basements, your crawl spaces, especially the area around your water heater or where your furnace is periodically and it never hurts to call a professional periodically and just say ‘Hey, come and check out my gas lines,'” DeCourley said.
DeCourley says if you suspect a gas leak, the best advice is to get to safety first, then call a professional.
“You very well could be in danger. [Propane] has to be [installed] properly and it’s something you have to respect,” DeCourley said.
DeCourley also recommends knowing where the shut-off valves to your gas appliances and propane tanks are located, so that you can shut off the gas, if you suspect a leak.