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Explosion at Youngsville home under investigation

Posted November 6, 2014
Updated November 7, 2014

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— Investigators on Thursday were still looking into what set off an explosion at a Franklin County house that threw the homeowner from a chair and shook the homes of nearby neighbors.

The owner, Mike Oliver, was the only one home, at 599 Darius Pearce Road in Youngsville, around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday when the explosion propelled him into the air and set his house on fire.

He wasn't injured, and his wife and son were not home.

Although fire investigators haven't said what sparked the fire, Oliver and a Franklin County sheriff's deputy at the scene Wednesday night said it appears to have been caused by a propane tank explosion.

The explosion shook homes as far as a half-mile away, including Dave Clarke, who was watching TV with his son when he heard a loud boom.

He likened the explosion to an improvised explosive device.

"It just shook the whole house. All the windows rattled, motion lights came on, and my ears popped," Clarke said. "That's how bad it was. I thought something at my house blew up."

Oliver said a propane company was in the area earlier in the day but wasn’t sure why. His home has not run on gas since 2011, he said.

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  • miseem Nov 7, 2014

    Sounds like someone delivered LP gas to the wrong house. And no one capped off and removed the tank when the heating source was changed. Almost all of the LP gas tanks are owned by the company providing the LP gas, not by the homeowners. It sounds like some company's insurance company will be writing a check soon. And a driver will be looking for another job. And CBS is right. Propane is a type of gas, but it is not gasoline.

  • NoRespect Nov 7, 2014

    Not much of an investigation... Early the next day, there were folks emptying what's left of the house. Was evidence removed, too? Can't imagine why the propane company might have been at the house... So, suggesting that they are somehow involved is purely speculation. Or, a diversionary tactic. Should be a crime scene until cause is determined.

  • Beth Spears Nov 6, 2014
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    I think we know it doesn't run on gasoline. It's propane gas. I'm his neighbor and both our houses did heat with propane. They changed there's but the tank was still there.

  • jmoxley2010 Nov 6, 2014

    Houses don't run on "gasoline"