Halifax, PA – A man that lives near Halifax said a fire that destroyed his home was preventable because a propane leak was not handled properly.
Mark Byerly, 84, of Jackson Township, said there’s not much left of his house since an explosion and fire on February 11.
Byerly said a technician from Amerigas was working on the tank after he called them because he smelled gas. Byerly said the technician decided to release gas from the tank into the air.
“And I told him, I said, ‘Hey, you can’t do that,'” said Byerly. “‘You’ve got to shut that off.'”
Byerly said he was worried the propane could ignite because the tank was right beside the house. He went back into the house to shut off the heater and his stove. He never made it back outside.
“I saw flames going up over the house, and by that time, I turned around and the house blew up. Everything came down on me,” said Byerly.
He wasn’t hurt, but his home was destroyed. Since the fire, Byerly’s been living in a construction trailer set up in the yard so he can keep an eye on his livestock.
He said he doesn’t have enough insurance to rebuild.
Firefighters who responded that day said gas spewing from the propane tank made it a tough fire to fight.
“Yes, that was part of the 911 dispatch,” said Jason Faust of the Fisherville Volunteer Fire Department. “There was a propane rep there and they had a propane fire.”
We wanted to hear what Amerigas, the propane company, had to say about all of this, but we were told the manager was not available when we went there on Monday.