Quick thinking by a rural resident may have prevented a house fire from spreading after an apparent propane explosion at a home in rural Hope early Tuesday morning.

Hope Rural Fire DepartmentFire Chief Gary Coup said Kevin Morgan was uninjured after the explosion at 746 Highway 43, and shut off the propane tank at the home, which is located about a 1/2 mile north of Hope.

Coup said that when two trucks with five volunteer firefighters from the Hope department arrived at the scene shortly after 4 a.m, afire that had started near a water heater in the basement was no longer burning.

He said the explosion blew out three of four wallsof the basement, knocked sheetrock from the walls of the woodframe home and woke up at least one person in Hope, which is a half-mile away.

Coup said it is believe at this time that the explosion was caused by a propane leak. Morgan told Hope firefighters he had told his landlord, Opal Kuhn, about a possible propane leak. A repair technician had been sent to the home a few days ago to address the possible issue.

Navarre Rural Fire Department was called to give mutual aid to Hope firefighters but were called off when they were not needed to fight a fire, he said.