A man survived an exploding fireball of propane that threw him across the length of his rented RV late Thursday, March 21, north of Ferndale.
Patricia Gess said she heard an explosion come from the motorhome just before 11 p.m. at 1891 Harksell Road. A man in his late 50s staggered out the door with broken glasses. He told her he'd just swapped out an old propane tank for a new one when a fireball threw him to the other side of the room. He didn't suffer any serious injuries.
Firefighters arrived to find the mid-'90s RV in flames, beyond help. It was a total loss, amounting to about $15,000 in damage, said Fire District 7 Division Chief Jerry Martin.
It took about 1 1/2 hours for firefighters to extinguish the flames and clear the scene.
The propane tank's valve might not have had a tight fit, Martin added. He wasn't sure where the spark came from to make the gas explode.
Gess said the man lost many of his possessions in the fire. Until he can get back on his feet, he's staying with friends.