Explosion destroys Donner Summit home | SierraSun.com

Explosion destroys Donner Summit home

Photo by Ryan Salm/Sierra Sun

A propane explosion destroyed a Donner Summit home on Monday, blowing apart walls and sending debris flying across the street, fire officials said.

No one was in the home at the time of the blast. The Serene Lakes house was a second residence, said Donner Summit Fire Department Capt. Rob Huseby.

A neighboring home was damaged by the blast that the Donner Summit Fire Department said was likely caused by snow building up on the propane lines and cracking the pipe.

“There was debris through the driveway and across the street and in the snowbank,” said Huseby.

Approximately 10 feet of snow was covering the propane tank at the time of the blast, Huseby said.

The propane, which is heavier than air and therefore drops to the ground, was ignited by either a water heater or the furnace in the home, Huseby said.

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The explosion ignited one side of the home. Fire crews doused the flames after digging out the propane tank and shutting off the gas.

The Donner Summit Fire Department is conducting an investigation over the explosion.

The Donner Summit Fire Department responds to one or two propane explosions every year.

The common culprits are heavy snow loads that damage the propane tank or piping.

“Any exposed piping needs to be clear of snow,” said Huseby.

Homeowners should regularly shovel snow from the tank, the lines and the

connection to the home, Huseby said.

He also recommends that homeowners get their propane system inspected annually.

A typical propane explosion can destroy or severely damage a home.