A propane explosion destroyed a home in the Essex hamlet of Whallonsburg and injured an elderly woman.
Dorothy Depuy, 80, occupant of the mobile home at 7 Reynolds Lane, may be lucky to be alive.
A 200-pound propane tank located behind the home leaked gas that exploded Sunday morning with such force that it blew the mobile home into pieces, Essex County Emergency Services Director Donald Jaquish said Monday.
“The walls are out in the lawn. It even blew holes in the floor.”
The propane tank supplied a hot-water heater and stove, Jaquish said.
“The line corroded as it ran through the building. It developed pinhole leaks. The leaks filled the basement and lower areas of the home with propane gas.
“Mrs. Depuy got up to cook breakfast. She was sitting in the living room when something ignited the gas. She was blown out of her chair.”
He said the Essex County Fire Investigation Unit is considering the home’s water heater as a possible ignition source.
“The explosion was tremendous. It destroyed the house. There isn’t a wall that doesn’t have all the wall members broken. It blew window frames hundreds of feet.”
Dupuy had bruises and cuts as a result of the blast and was taken to Elizabethtown Community Hospital by Essex Ambulance Squad. She was still hospitalized Monday, but a report on her condition was not available.
Jaquish said Depuy’s injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
The mobile home, which had been converted with an wooden outer section and metal roof, is owned by her daughter, Donna Haynes, and is believed to have been insured.
Whallonsburg firefighters were called to the home when the explosion was reported at about 9:15 a.m. Sunday, and they called Essex for mutual aid.