Decatur, IN – By ERIC MANN, The Decatur Daily Democrat
It was a miracle, according to Berne Fire Chief Art Nussbaum.
He was referring to the fact that Don and Sandy Myers of rural Berne managed to escape unscathed after a liquid propane gas explosion at their home started a fire in the predawn darkness on Tuesday.
The fire eventually destroyed the large one-story dwelling on County Rd. 700 South, about two miles west of Berne.
Nussbaum, whose department received assistance from firefighters in Geneva and Monroe, and his men were dispatched to the scene at 4:29 a.m. and were there for five hours. He estimated that as many as 30 members of the three departments were involved in fighting the flames.
He said late Tuesday evening that the Myers couple, believed to be in their late 50s, were asleep when they were jarred awake by the blast from what is believed to have been a leak in the gas line. They fled their home, apparently even as the fire was starting.
Nussbaum said the LP gas tank did not blow up. It was about 100 feet away from the home and is still in one piece.
Although the fire damage is severe, the chief said the investigation by his department and by the couple’s insurance carrier is focusing on the gas lines and the furnace.
The Myers couple lost all their possessions but, said Nussbaum, are thankful to not have been badly injured or killed by the initial explosion and/or the resulting blaze. They are temporarily staying with their son in the Berne area.