Manchester, NJ – Gregory J. Volpe, Asbury Park Press – A man was in critical condition with severe burns following an explosion yesterday morning in his trailer caused by lighting a cigarette that ignited a leaking propane tank, police said.

The 45-year-old man, who was not identified because police had not been able to contact his family, suffered 2nd- and 3rd-degree burns to his upper body, back and face after the ignition caused an explosion, collapsing his trailer at the Surf and Stream campground on Route 571 at about 6:45 a.m. yesterday, police said.

Investigation revealed that the propane used for cooking was leaking because it was improperly capped, police said.

The man was flown to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, in Neptune, before he was taken to the Saint Barnabas Medical Center, in Livingston, where he remained in critical condition, police said.

The fire remains under investigation by Manchester Detective Joseph Howell, the Manchester Fire Marshal’s Office, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office.

The Ocean County Criminal Investigation Unit, Manchester Fire Department, Berkeley Hazardous Material Team, Manchester First Aid and MONOC paramedics responded.