Propane Leak Triggers Fatal House Explosion in Berlin, Massachusetts

BERLIN, MA – Investigators recently confirmed that a tragic house explosion that claimed a life and caused significant damage has been attributed to a propane leak.

The incident occurred on April 14, when an explosion rocked Pleasant Street, leading to the unfortunate death of 79-year-old Judy Christensen and causing injuries to her daughter, Jill. The blast also left three neighboring homes and two vehicles damaged in its wake.

Preliminary investigations indicate that the evening before the explosion, residents detected the distinct smell of propane in their backyard, where two 100-pound liquid propane gas cylinders were situated. Recognizing the danger, they promptly reported the leak to Knight Fuel Company. In response, an employee from the company removed the tank and relocated it about 20 feet from the house.

Tragically, further investigation has revealed that the propane leakage persisted even after the relocation. The gas managed to infiltrate the basement through the fieldstone foundation and basement walkout. At approximately 3:30 a.m., the accumulated propane ignited, resulting in a catastrophic explosion. Despite efforts, the exact ignition source could not be conclusively determined.

Investigators have stated that no evidence suggests foul play or suspicious circumstances surrounding the explosion. However, their findings have highlighted several violations committed by Knight Fuel Company. These include exceeding the permissible propane storage limit without the requisite permit and failing to promptly notify the Berlin Fire Department of the hazardous leaking tank.

The incident serves as a tragic reminder of the critical importance of propane safety measures and adherence to proper protocols in dealing with potentially dangerous materials. As investigations conclude, it is hoped that lessons learned from this incident will contribute to enhanced safety awareness and practices to prevent similar tragedies.

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