Connecticut house explosion caused by propane leak, ruled accidental

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

VERNON, Connecticut -- Fire investigators said a propane gas leak apparently caused an explosion that leveled a Connecticut home, injuring seven people.

Vernon Fire Marshal Adam Libros said Saturday afternoon that the gas line was supplying a dryer in the home's basement. He said it's not immediately clear what ignited the gas and that the investigation is ongoing.

Thursday's blast flattened the two-story residence and sent debris flying, said Police Lt. William Meier.

Two 12-year-old girls have been discharged from the hospital, while a 15-year-old boy and a 7-year-old boy remained hospitalized in good condition. A 35-year-old woman identified as Nicole Kerstetter remains in critical condition and a 23-year-old man is in intensive care but his condition has improved to stable.

A 60-year-old man refused medical treatment at the scene.

All of the victims are expected to survive, authorities said.

"It is truly a miracle that no one was killed inside this house," said Meier earlier this week. "It was just a devastating scene of catastrophic damage."

The blast blew the front door of the home across the street and into a neighbor's yard. Glass and other debris littered the roadway.

"I never heard anything like it. It wasn't just a vibration. The house shook," neighbor Alan Fisher told the Hartford Courant.