Coos Bay, OR – By Carl Mickelson, The World Link – A Coos Bay woman sustained severe burns to her arms and face Friday morning after propane fumes lingering in her camp trailer first ignited, then exploded just moments after she ran outside.
She came out of the house on fire, said Julie Blais, a neighbor who took care of the burn victim, 41-year-old Mary McKay, for several minutes until paramedics arrived.
According to Coos Bay Fire Department officials, at 10:34 a.m., about 18 firefighters and two fire engines responded to a report of an explosion and fire at the M’Ocean Trailer Park near the 2500 block of Ocean Boulevard. When firefighters arrived they discovered McKay’s 24-foot camp trailer was fully engulfed in flames and McKay outside suffering from second- and third-degree burns.
McKay told fire officials she smelled propane shortly before the explosion. Fire officials said an investigation into the cause of the fire revealed the occupants had attempted to light a propane fueled appliance, were unsuccessful, but failed to turn it off.
The vapors were later ignited by an electric space heater.
Firefighters brought the fire under control within 10 minutes. At around 10:45 a.m., two firefighters walked atop the charred remains of the trailer, intermittently spraying water on smoldering hotspots, but mainly chucking scorched and smoking debris onto the lawn. The trailer’s roof was nonexistent and two walls remained standing, although virtually everything within sight appeared melted or seared to a crisp.
The fire completely destroyed the trailer and everything inside.