1 Dead, 4 Hurt in Maine Home Explosion

The fire marshal's office said investigators are looking at propane as a possible cause of the explosion

 

 
 
 

DAVID SHARP, Associated Press | | Tuesday, February 12, 2013


BATH, Maine (AP) — A two-family house exploded early Tuesday in this historic shipbuilding city on Maine's coast, killing one person, leaving four others hospitalized and sending debris flying a quarter mile away, officials said.

The single-story brick duplex blew up and caught fire about 5 a.m. in an explosion believed caused by a propane tank. Fire investigators were working to pinpoint the cause, but the duplex used propane as its heating source, said Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland.


The home is in a development built during World War II to house shipyard workers, McCausland said.

The explosion awakened neighbors and was powerful enough to scatter debris around the neighborhood, with clothing, wood, insulation, shingles and other items landing in trees and on top of neighbor's homes.

"I heard the boom and looked out the window," said Rashell Alfalsalawi, who lives less than 100 feet away. "There was no house and debris falling everywhere, and a fire."

She said clothes, wood, ashes, sticks and other debris came raining down and she was worried for her safety.

The fire marshal called for assistance for a state police airplane so aerial photos of the site could be taken, while also requesting state police mapping equipment used at vehicular crash sites to map debris fields, McCausland said.

Investigators on Tuesday morning had not confirmed the identity or gender of the body that was found in the rubble, but a woman who lived in one side of the duplex was unaccounted for, McCausland said.

At least four people were injured, including a man who lived in the other side of the duplex and a neighbor across the street who injured his feet on nails or glass that was in his front yard, he said. Their conditions were not immediately known.

Ken Grimes of the fire marshal's office said investigators are looking at propane as a possible cause of the explosion. Propane is heavier than air and tends to settle, so they're trying to determine if gas leaked from the tank, collected in a crawl space below the tank and exploded, he said.

Bath has a population of about 8,500 residents, is located about 35 miles northeast of Portland and is home to Navy shipbuilder Bath Iron Works.

___

Associated Press writer Clarke Canfield in Portland contributed to this report.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, home explosion

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Abilene Loses Helicopter Service

Native Air leaves city with only one air helicopter service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire Chief Proposes another Controversial Ambulance Plan

Staffing change will leave immediate neighborhood without fire apparatus.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

FDIC 2014 CHAT: MIKE MCEVOY AND A.J. HEIGHTMAN

Mike McEvoy and A.J. Heightman discuss some new EMS technology at FDIC 2014.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Lieutenant in Patient Death May Go Unpunished

Family upset that officer in charge may retire without any discipline.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >