A propane leak is the suspected source of a house explosion in Paupack Twp., PA that left a 59-year-old woman with second and third-degree burns. The Lakeville Fire Department arrived at the house, located at 44 Tiffany Drive, around 6:23 a.m. that morning to find the woman outside the home, conscious and badly burned. She was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Burn Center. Officials have not released an update on her condition.
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The police told WFMZ that the woman had recently purchased the home with no hot water or heat and that she recently had the 500-pound propane tank filled. They said it is too early to tell which, if any, of the appliances in the home were using propane but they know the explosion originated in the basement.
Unlike natural gas, which is lighter than air and rises, propane is heavy and sinks accumulating in basements and other low-lying areas when there is a leak. Any spark can cause an explosion.
And it’s possible that she did not smell the leak. Because propane is an odorless and highly flammable gas, an odorant, usually ethyl mercaptan, is added so it can serve as a warning if a leak occurs. This is the “rotten egg” smell people associate with gas leaks. But if a tank is filled improperly, the odorant can react with the lining of the tank causing the odor to fade.
One of our recent cases that settled for $10 million involved a propane tank that wasn’t filled properly. Our client, who suffered third-degree burns over 60 percent of his body, spent nearly two months in a burn unit.
Fire officials in Wayne County say the investigation is still underway.
Pritzker Hageman explosion lawyers have been successfully representing clients in fire and explosion cases for the past 40 years, collecting millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured in an explosion and would like a free, no-obligation consultation please call 1-888-377-8900, text 612-261-0856, or complete the form below.