HMN- Continued failures in flammable gas lines cause death and destruction as the fall weather cools. Fostoria, Ohio area firefighters have determined the cause of an explosion that destroyed a Loudon Township home Wednesday evening. According to the reviewtimes.com
Mark DeVault, acting chief for Bascom Joint Fire District, said the explosion inside 2207 S. Ohio 587 was caused by an uncapped gas line connected to a ventless heater in the home’s basement.
There was a leak in the line, and DeVault said he believes one of the appliances in the kitchen served as an ignition source for the propane.
“That’s what we believe happened,” he said. “The propane went in there and reached an ignition source upstairs.”
Bascom firefighters arrived on the scene shortly after 8:30 p.m. Wednesday to discover the home “fully engulfed” in flames. Neighbors had previously told the Review Times they heard a “major boom” just prior to the arrival of firefighters.
“It definitely got some people’s attention,” DeVault said of the explosion.
Firefighters had the blaze under control in just about 15 minutes, but DeVault said crews stuck around for nearly two hours to make sure there were no hidden embers capable of sparking another fire.
“Of course, we took a long time after that to make sure it was all out,” he said. “We couldn’t get in there like we normally would because of safety issues, so we had to be real careful and move real knowingly. Everyone was gone probably by 10 or 11 p.m.”
The woman inside the home was in the kitchen at the time of the blast, but DeVault said she was treated on scene and not transported to the hospital. There were also a pair of dogs inside, but they reportedly got out safely.
According to the Seneca County Auditor’s Office, the property is owned by Ryan Weaver and Alaina Ritter, who purchased the home back in July.
DeVault said he suspects the heater was left by the previous homeowners.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to investigate the scene Thursday in order to confirm the fire department’s ruling of the cause.
NBS Fire District (New Riegel) firefighters and Kansas Fire Department were also dispatched to the fire. Kansas firefighters were released from the scene shortly before 9:30 p.m. and sent to man Bascom’s fire stations to cover in case of another fire call. DeVault said the home was rendered a total loss.