When Pulaski Fire Department members were alerted Wednesday to call at 1745 Elkton Pike where a camper was on fire after exploding, most were expecting the worst.

According to PFD Safety Officer Don Collins, the firefighters arrived to find a neighbor had used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames and the resident of the camper that is located directly behind Star Motel had survived the blast.

“It is a miracle for him to even be alive,” Collins said of Timothy McNeil, who was inside the camper at the time of the explosion. “It is absolutely amazing that he was able to walk away without serious injuries.

He is lucky to be alive.”

Collins said the cause of the explosion is linked to a 20-pound propane cylinder McNeil had replaced minutes before the explosion occurred.

“From the information we have compiled, Mr. McNeil replaced the tank and turned it on,” Collins said. “Apparently the resident was unaware that there was a leak inside the camper.

“He lit a cigarette, which caused the explosion.”

Giles County Ambulance Service personnel transported McNeil to Hillside Hospital, where he was treated for burns to the face and hands and then released.

The resident is the owner of two dogs. One is reported to be OK, the other’s whereabouts are unknown at this time