Timberline home destroyed in gas explosion
A man and his younger son narrowly escaped a gas explosion that destroyed their home in a Snyderville Basin-area neighborhood early Wednesday morning.
According to Park City Fire District Chief Paul Hewitt, the man was treated and released at the scene after sustaining minor burns to his face. His son, described as younger than 10, was not injured. Their names have not been released.
Hewitt said the 3,000-square-foot, two-level home, located on North Cedar Way in the Timberline neighborhood, is a total loss. No nearby structures were threatened or damaged, however, one other home was evacuated due to the smoke.
At around 7:30 a.m., nearly 20 firefighters and three fire engines from the Park City Fire District responded to the home after the man reported the blast. Hewitt said a neighbor reported it had rattled his home.
The man was reportedly attempting to melt ice in his garage with a propane-fueled space heater when it exploded in his face, Hewitt said. Several small explosions quickly followed, which Hewitt said may have been from ammunition stored inside the home.
The structure was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived and they immediately went on the defensive, Hewitt said. The fire was contained within about 30 minutes.
Hewitt cautioned about the risk associated with the use of portable propane-fueled heaters, especially in enclosed spaces.
"People need to be extremely careful when using propane-fueled heaters," Hewitt said. "They need to make sure connections are tight and that there are no leakages. They should also be used in an open area and to the manufacturers’ specifications."
Hewitt also mentioned the importance of storing ammunition in secure cases.
"If you have ammunition, make sure it is stored in a steal container or something secure because it makes the job of firefighters much safer if we have to go in there," Hewitt said.
A full investigation into the fire will be conducted and the Utah State Fire Marshal has been invited to participate.
"Any time you ever see smoke or hear an explosion, don’t hesitate to call us," Hewitt said.
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