CA – By Greg Welter, Chico Enterprise Record – A Paradise woman whose mobile home burned following an explosion Sunday is in critical condition at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.
Carol Bear reportedly suffered severe burns to her hands and feet and is being treated in the hospital’s burn unit.
Paradise Fire Department Division Chief Mark Haunschild said the blaze that destroyed Bear’s residence was caused by a build-up of propane.
The residence caught on fire after a large explosion was heard just before 1 p.m.
Haunschild said the gas could have come from a leak in a pipe or an appliance.
He said the propane collected until an ignition source, such as a pilot light, caused it to explode. Two propane tanks found on the property were turned off and didn’t explode.
Bear was sleeping when the blast occurred. Despite injuries to her feet and hands, she was able to get out of the home, then was carried to safety by a neighbor.
Haunschild said secondary explosions witnesses reported hearing were likely aerosol cans exploding in the kitchen.
The fire took slightly more than five minutes to control, but burned so intensely the home was already destroyed.