Lancaster County, PA – A Kinzers man died Friday night after a propane tank accidentally exploded in his basement, engulfing the home in flames, investigators said.
Samuel K. Stoltzfus, 27, was trapped upstairs when the two-story frame house at 5137 Peters Road caught fire around 7:40 p.m., officials said.
Fire crews were able to get Stoltzfus out of the burning structure, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Trooper James DeWalt, a state police fire marshal, said Stoltzfus’ younger brother and sister, both teenagers, were also in the house, but were able to escape.
The Stoltzfus parents, who were away Friday evening, were brought home quickly, the trooper added.
The teenage boy told investigators he heard a hissing sound from the basement and went to check on the propane heater, but did not see or hear anything unusual.
A short time later, the residents felt a rumbling, followed by an explosion.
A deputy coroner determined Stoltzfus died of smoke inhalation, police said. There will be no autopsy.
DeWalt said firefighters had to work hard to bring the blaze under control and were at the scene well past 2 a.m.