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Propane Suspected Cause of Two Recent House Explosions

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NANTICOKE – Propane is a cost effective and statistically safe fuel source, but safety trainers offered reminders for homeowners after two recent house explosions.

Firefighters in Pike County believe a propane leak likely played a role in a house explosion near Newfoundland over the weekend.

Firefighters were also seen inspecting a propane tank at house explosion last week near Mountain Lake in Luzerne County.

Officials at the Public Safety Training Institute at Luzerne County Community College told Newswatch 16 that many fire responders train for emergencies that deal with propane or natural gas annually.

“Sometimes you don`t see that charring or what you would expect from a traditional structure fire,” said John Leonard. “You’re taking every precaution available as a first responder going into this hot zone of a situation.”

If you suspect a problem or smell an odor of rotten eggs, industry trainer Dale Hendricks said you should get outside immediately and call 911.

“When the fuel escapes from the container, it`s in its liquid state in the container. When it goes to its gaseous state outside, it will expand 270 times its volume,” said Hendricks. "It`s a heavier than air gas. It will sink to the lower levels. Most any ignition source can cause a problem with a propane leak."

According to Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association, homeowners should never let their tanks run low or try to restart a pilot light on your own.

Both house explosions are still under investigation.