Greensburg, LA – GREENSBURG, La. — A woman and her four children have been awarded $12.7 million for a propane gas explosion that rocked their rented house in April 2002, killing the caretaker.

The verdict by a state district court jury Monday followed a two-week trial.

The explosion occurred after Herring Gas of Louisiana filled an external propane tank while no one was home, said Lewis Unglesby, one of the attorneys representing Monica Jackson and her four children.

A space heater had been removed from inside the home by a previous tenant, and gas leaked into the house through the open pipe, Unglesby said. The house exploded when a light switch was turned on, the attorney said.

Alton Tillery, who looked after the house for the owners, died in the explosion after saving two of the children from the fire, Unglesby said.