Shandaken, NY – Propane blast knocks home off foundation

SHANDAKEN – A home on Creekside Drive in Shandaken was lifted off its foundation Friday evening after an explosion in the basement that was caused by a leak in a propane line.


Gary Carr Jr., chief of the Phoenicia Fire District, said the explosion did not cause a fire. He said no one was hurt, although the owner of the house, Ross Altman, was home at the time of the explosion.

“He was very lucky,” Carr said. “To have something like that to happen and no injuries.”

Carr said a propane line in the basement that connected an outside tank to the kitchen stove had a leak in it.

He said the explosion occurred at about 6 p.m. when Altman turned water on upstairs, causing the water pump in the basement to turn on. An internal spark within the water pump’s motor was enough to ignite the propane that had been gathering in the basement, Carr said.

“The hose was leaking and actually siphoned (propane) into the basement of the house, and then the water pump came on and created the explosion,” Carr said.

He said the house at 215 Creekside Drive sustained a lot of structural damage, and that parts of the foundation broke off from the explosion.

Carr said Altman was not able to stay in the home Friday night after the explosion, and that the town building inspector would decide whether the house needed to be condemned. Carr said all power was turned off after the explosion as a safeguard.

He said Altman is not a full-time local resident and uses the house in Shandaken as a summer home.