At least one man was killed and two others were seriously injured after an apparent propane explosion at a home in Connecticut Wednesday.
According to the Police, the homeowner identified as John Wilkinson, 46, called on his friend, Anthony Fratino, 47, to help repair a propane leak found in the water heater in the basement of his home in New Milford, Conn.
The explosion happened around 6:40 p.m., as stated in the reports.
Officials said Fratino was killed immediately while Wilkinson and Nicholas, Fratino’s 9-year-old son, who was with them at that time, were rushed to Danbury Hospital in Danbury Conn., sustaining severe lacerations and burns.
Nicholas who was seriously burn had to be transported to a hospital in Boston, more than 150 miles away. Wilkinson is being treated at the burn unit of Bridgeport Hospital, in Bridgeport, Conn.
It was fortunate that Wilkinson’s wife, Alice, and their two kids reportedly left the home shortly before the explosion and was visiting a neighbor. Police investigators learned that Wilkinson had advised his family to leave the house when he smelled propane. There is no news as to the place the family is staying now.
Wilkinson family home is no more; only a chimney stood amidst bits of rubble that were scattered over a wide area where the two-story farmhouse originally was.
New Milford Police Department Spokesperson Lt. Lawrence Ash said that the explosion was so devastating that it almost obliterated the farm house.
After the blast, police and fire crews searched the rubble for any remaining victims. While they determined no one else was at the house at the time it was leveled, Ash said police still plan to use a cadaver dog to make sure there were no human remains at the site.
Police ordered onlookers away from the scene because they feared asbestos particles from the house may be in the air, Ash said.
Some New Milford residents stated they heard the explosion from miles away.
Officials are advising the neighborhood that anyone who smells a gas leak in their house, workplace, or around any gas equipment or appliance must evacuate from the area and immediately call a trained propane service person and the fire department.
New Milford, a western Connecticut town, is close to the New York state border.
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