Propane source of Bethel Twp. house explosion; cause under investigation


Propane was the source of a house explosion in Bethel Twp. Thursday evening, but the cause remains under investigation, fire officials said.

No one was injured in the house explosion that leveled a two-story farm house on Lower Valley Pike in the area of South Hampton and Snider roads, Bethel Twp., said Bethel Twp. Fire Lt. Andrew Porter.

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The occupant was in Cincinnati and was on his way home, Porter said.

Porter said the explosion was "pretty powerful," noting a nearby homeowner said the concussion took pictures off the walls of his home. There are no reports of damage to nearby homes. 

Lance Knisley and John Augenstein said they initially thought propane caused the explosion

Knisley said he and Augenstein work at a shop on Snider Road, about a quarter-mile from the scene, and were in the parking lot about to go home for the night when they heard the explosion. 

"About blew us off our feet," Knisley said. "We saw a little bit of a mushroom cloud." 

Augenstein said, "the concussion was so violent, you could feel it through your whole body. We thought a bomb was dropped or something." 

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Knisley said they drove to the scene and shut off a propane tank they found. 

The propane tank was still "hissing" when they arrived, Augenstein said. 

A state fire marshal’s investigator was called to the scene.

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