North Pole, AK -A propane tank explosion destroyed a home in North Pole and seriously injured its owner Thursday. Authorities say Gaylene Jones is being treated at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and was listed in very serious condition as of Thursday. The blast launched debris in every direction and blew the door off a neighboring house. The trees surrounding the house were filled with debris, including chunks of fiberglass insulation and pieces of wood. Fire crews later found Jones’ cat on the property, soaking wet but still alive.
Jerry Hanson is deputy chief for the North Star Volunteer Fire Department. He says it took crews three hours to remove the collapsed roof and extinguish the fire underneath. Hanson did not believe any of Jones’ belongings would be salvageable, and estimated the damage to be at least 150-thousand dollars.