Skip to comments.Grandmother, grandson killed in Ohio house explosion (Incredible picture of what was a house)
Posted on 03/02/2011 9:26:05 AM PST by TSgt
SUFFIELD TOWNSHIP, OH (WOIO) - A grandmother and her grandson were killed when their Portage County home exploded early Wednesday morning.
The coroner has identified the victims as 63-year-old Regina Proudfoot and 21-year-old Robert Croft. Nobody else lived with them.
Investigators tell the CBS affiliate in Cleveland, WOIO-TV, that the home-which is about 35 miles southeast of Cleveland- was heated by propane, and confirmed around 11 a.m. that the incident is propane-related. However, the exact origin and cause of the 4 a.m. explosion have not yet been pinpointed.
The house had a 500-gallon propane tank which had recently been refilled. Nearby homes were also damaged in the massive explosion, which could be felt miles away in the neighboring city of Hartville.
The part of propane Hank Hill never tells you about.
As a kid (from around 1980 - 1989) I lived less than a mile from where this house was.
Hmmmm...my mother-in-law just had her propane tank refilled yesterday. I don’t think I’ll mention this little incident to her. Good thing she lives out in the desert with plenty of space between her and her propane-luvin’ neighbors.
I just put 150 gallons of propane in my tank. It sits right beside my house. I hope I’m not there if it blows. Probably the only way I’ll get out of my house what I have in it. from the insurance settlement.
Wow when I was kid growing up 1960-1978 I lived about 2100 miles from that house
What happened? House fill up with Natural Gas and then a spark (from AC/ coffee pot, etc) blew the house up...or did a BIG propane tank (500 gallons+) blow up? Jeez! Here I am wanting to get a Propane tank and hook it up as dual fuel to my NG generator.
Amazing. I grew up just 750 miles from there...
Propane has a pretty safe history. The Propane tank needs to be inspected yearly.
I have seen incidents like this where people have modified their hook-ups to increase the gas flow for meth cooking and similar activities. These ingredients are explosive.
It could be that the tank didn’t get its yearly inspection or illegal activities were going on in the house. I note it is grandma and a 21 year old living together which sounds like it fits the profile.
More pics and details:
My G-d. That looks like something from a war zone. The fireball must have been huge!
I suspect there was a house fire, intense heat, and THEN the propane tank exploded. I say this not based on any specific expertise in such matters but more based on the fact that propane tank explosions are exceedingly rare. It is generally considered to be a safe source of energy and not known to explode without some serious help from some other ignition source.
Plus, I lived for years with a 300 gallon propane tank right outside my bedroom window ... on the opposite side of the house from the kitchen and heater.
If you go down to the end of that street and then get on the thruway and then make a bunch of turns for about 4 hours you will end up right by my place!
Exactly what we did, too.
So, if a propane explosion is a “man bites dog” story, I take it this is a pretty rare event. I’d worry more about getting hit by a car when I cross the street.
I’m not sure that an exploding propane tank would do that. That picture looks like the house filled with gas and then exploded... a homemade fuel air bomb so to speak. An exploding propane tank would give a large ball of fire and maybe take out the side of the house. but complete demolition makes me suspect a leak/spark combo. Maybe a valve wasn’t closed properly by the guy who filled the tank.
I don’t think liquid propane really blows up. I suspect this was similar to a natural gas leak. The house fills with gas (and air) and, just like in an automobile cylinder, a spark is applied resulting in an explosion.
More likely a gas leak inside the house, resulting in a large volume of potentially explosive propane-air mixture, then a spark from perhaps a propane-fired water heater, or such.
Well, I grew up on another planet (a large moon, actually) but I now live within a couple thousand miles of there.
I thought that too until the ice storm of 2000 put us without electricity for 2 weeks and hence no heat. Now I have propane and wood heat to go with the electricity.
I just had MY 500 gallon propane tank filled. In our case though, it is buried with top access, it were to blow like that one, the force would blow straight up.
I don’t think this was a routine maintenance issue though. I suspect maybe the day before a car had bumped the tank and cracked a weld or something like that.
LOL! So true. We all look for ways to relate to what we hear or read. And we find them, but we don’t have to share them unless there’s something in that relationship that others would find enlightening.
This is true. In fact on Myth Busters they fired a 30-30 round into a FULL propane tank and it did NOT explode.
Propane tanks are exceedingly safe. The only way you can blow one up is to fill one up with the vent plugged up.
We switched from home heating oil (now bio-oil which is less BTUs, good luck with that) to propane. Burns more efficiently, costs less, and now the difference in BTUs is not as bad with the stupid bio-oil garbage. As far as those switching to electricity, try that in (M)assachusetts!
You have it inspected once a year, tanks, lines, etc. Best part? No morons fiddling with the gas lines in the street, someone screws up and BOOM!
Talk to anyone who works in the business and ask them how many open natural gas leaks there are!
If you look carefully you can see about a 100 yard circle around the house, from the initial blast radius.
He taught a class at another school a hundred miles away, and said he could switch over on during his commute.
That was during the Carter I years.
“I dont think liquid propane really blows up.”
Exactly. There is very little danger from the tank itself. I’ve seen and fought fires under the tanks themselves. Unless you have a fire that heats the propane tank into a BLEVE (boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion), which is rare. Most likely they had a propane leak inside the house which mixed with air to reach the magic fuel air ration and a spark ignited it.
The photo shows equal debris in all directions, so I would suspect the explosion couldn’t have been from a tank outside the house.
Be sure to keep your paperwork in the next county.
Hey! I think we grew up in different towns together!
Now that is funny
I have a large generator, kerosene heater and wood stove.
Having been close(< 60 ft.) to a 100 gallon propane tank when it went off, I am pretty sure that it was not the tank in this case.
We were at a tobacco barn fire. Once a tobacco barn lights off there is nothing you can do to save it. We were trying to save the barn next to it when the tank over pressurized from the heat of the burning barn. The safety lifted blowing the cover about 50 feet in the air.
The result was about a 12 foot tongue of flame. It took over 15 minutes until it burned off enough propane and we were able to cool it enough to reset the safety.
In order to scatter the parts of the house like this, there would have to have been an explosive gas/air mixture inside the house at the time of ignition.
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Panama is a great user of propain...I mean “propane” because it is less expensive. Not I. Everything is electric in my house.
propane is like anything else...including electric. You have to maintain the storage, connections, etc...
Ask the families of people who died because of aluminum wiring in their homes...
>>The place had good food but no atmosphere.<<
THAT’S THE PLACE!
What do you mean? Why did they die because of aluminum wiring in the house?
Same for me but ya have to exit the back door instead of the front.
It is like any technology that delivers “power”. If there is a problem with the technology either wear, bad products, etc...there are consequences.
Aluminum over time weakens because of the expansion and contraction within the metal when current is flowing through it. Over time it can crack and create a situation with spark, shorts, etc...depending on the installation, etc it has cause home fires.
And it is not compatible with copper wire during repair or adding ne fixtures
There had to be external heat( lot of it) to cause the tank to rupture. I have two 1,000 gallon tanks that are 4 feet underground 20 feet from my house. The ground temp will never get over 60 degrees. and only a 1/2 line to the regulator at the house(outside).. I have no fear of leakage. In the basement I have a manifold that is open to sight and a gas detector next to it.
I have 22,000 gallons stored above ground at my plant. Just happens to be directly facing a school about 100 yards away. I inherited the tank when I purchased the mfg. site.
The town seems not to give a shit! I do, but the gas company “maintains” once every year. In the last 15 years they have never been spotted on site.
And it is not compatible with copper wire during repair or adding new fixtures
Amazing. I grew up...
Electric here, too. Have a wood backup stove for when temps drop down below freezing. When it does, the central system just runs and runs and runs, then won’t shut off and just blows cold air. I can’t stand gas heat; when I go in a building that’s heated with gas, I can smell it the second I walk in the door. I wouldn’t go in anyplace that was heated with gas, but that’s not always possible. In-laws heat with gas, can’t avoid that always obviously. MIL used to cook with it, and it smelled like crazy; they were oblivious to it.
Holy MOLLE - looks like someone dropped a MK84 on the house!
We use NG, for no other reason than it is lighter than air - but now costs like gold...
Likely a leak in a gas line under the house. Basement filled with fumes and something touched it off.
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