House explosions highlight dangers of propane - WFSB 3 Connecticut

House explosions highlight dangers of propane

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SHELTON, CT (WFSB) -

After propane explosions left two homes in ruins over the past few weeks, Connecticut experts are explaining how the average homeowner can prevent this from happening to them. 

A house explosion at 67 Wopowog Trail in Shelton Monday afternoon sent three adult males to the hospital with serious burns. Pioneer Natural Resources Company was installing a gas dryer when something exploded.

Anthony Fratino, 47, was helping to fix a propane leak inside a home on Sunny Valley Road in New Milford about two weeks ago when he was killed after the house exploded. Two others, including a 9-year-old boy, are still recovering from the incident.

Following these two incidents, Connecticut Fire Marshal Robert Ross is advising residents to exercise safety when working with propane.

"The gas company is going to take some time to get out there," he said. "The fire department will do an emergency response. They'll have the ability to shut the gas off."

In Shelton, professionals were handling the propane, but that did not prevent the tragic accident from occurring.

"You can be a professional, but it just takes one slip up, you know," said Richard Halapin, who is a propane owner.

Propane is a commonly used heating gas and state officials said if you smell or hear gas leaking, the safest thing to do is call 911. Officials added if homeowners handle propane properly, they should not have to worry.

Both cases are still under investigation. 

"It could be a broken pipe, I hate to speculate because there's a number of different things that can happen," Ross said.

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