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Monday, January 9, 2012

Propane Explosion

Fire! (look at the exploded top of the camper)


There was a man in the camper.

Rear end

Closer view inside from the rear...this debris inside was on the pavement.
Yes, the whole thing exploded and scattered flaming debris.

I went to Walmart about 10:30 one night, and was trying to ask a customer service manager if anyone could get a gallon of white vinegar for me. There was none on the shelf. She said she had to get a key to unlock the propane because a customer wanted a tank of propane. I waited.

Finally, I wandered off and asked someone else. With vinegar bought and ready to leave, I stopped to talk to the greeter about his knee injury. Just about then a woman and child came in. She stopped to speak to the greeter. "Is it okay if we come in?" "Sure," he said as we both looked puzzled.

She explained that it appeared someone had set the garden center afire or tried to. This sounded exciting and rather dangerous. It was no exciting and dangerous in a good way, just sort of scary. She said a camper was on fire and one of the ambulances just went screaming off to the hospital. I went out to find both ambulances gone, two big fire trucks, a fire pickup and two fire dept cars. I ventured no closer than the middle of the parking lot.

I thought maybe the people who were buying propane had problems. Another day, I found out that was not the case. BF and I drove by and checked it out. I took pictures.

A woman there at the camper was picking up pieces of the camper and insulation. She said her son had bought the camper only a week before. It seems he found a leak in the gas line when the tank exploded and caught fire or just the other way around. At any rate she said he was lucky to be alive. His coat caught on fire and his hair and eyebrows were singed.

Propane is dangerous. Those little bottles for camp stoves always make me relax. Nope, they are not safe.  I would never let a child within ten feet of propane. Of course, I have a huge propane tank on my BBQ grill, so I don't know. This experience makes me want to move it further than 2 feet from my house. When I use it, the grill is still only about four feet from the house.

I don't know if he was living in this or if he bought it for the family to travel. At any rate, check often for leaks. Better yet, let the people at the propane station check it. Or firemen will come and check it out. They did this for me once.

When I was the mother of two children and an infant, our grill exploded in a fireball as I stood before it...another story, another day.

Stay safe.

Your turn
Have you experienced any problems with propane? Do you heat with it? In what capacity do you use propane? Friends or relatives use it or had problems?


  1. Wow. I'm glad no one was hurt, but how freaky!

  2. We use propane for cooking. That man should of been able to smell the leak. We had one just before Thanksgiving and fixed it immediately.
    Our area doesn't have natural gas lines so we rely on propane-some for heating but most people around here heat with wood most often. Propane is just too expensive on its own at winter prices.

    I'm glad you were inside and not near it when this happened. You said, "BF" not EXBF:)

  3. It's hard to believe he survived that explosion. He must have one hard working Guardian Angel looking out for him.

  4. Pamela,
    That was soooo freaky. You are right. And, it has made me afraid once again of propane.

    I still don't know the whole story, so he may smelled the leak, not sure. Well, my mistake, still

    I still cannot find the information online as to the extent of his injuries. He was certainly lucky.


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