Propane tanks may have caused explosion ,say investigators

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Early Thursday morning, a Longview house exploded. Neighbors says they thought they smelled natural gas the day before, and that could have cause the explosion. But, it turns out that is not the case. Investigators are looking at the possible cause as a common item that many people keep for camping and cooking outdoors: propane tanks.

As investigators with the Texas Railroad Commission, Center-Point Energy and fire marshals filtered through the debris, more questions began to be raised by explosion investigation experts.

"Everything happened in the garage," said fire marshal, Barry Cates.

But, it wasn't what many neighbors in the area thought it was to begin with. After investigators got through looking at the site, they determined it was not natural gas that caused the explosion.

"There was too much damage to be natural gas in this experience," said Cates. "It didn't look like natural gas caused that."

Neighbors were taken aback to hear that propane tanks could be responsible.

"Oh my goodness!" said Angela Williams, a neighbor. "I'm floored! It makes you think twice about where you have to store things."

Investigators believe several propane tanks stored in the garage area could have caused the blast because several tanks that were stored have not been found.

"We were looking for two or three small propane torches," said Cates. "We found one of them out of the three or four in the house. We don't know if the others exploded during the fire. We don't know them we can't find them."

Propane tanks are "gas under pressure," and should be stored low, well away from an heat source. The investigation into what sparked the explosion continues.

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