Propane tanks in car sparked garage explosion
Posted May 19, 2010
Updated May 20, 2010
Elm City, N.C. — Wilson County authorities said Wednesday that two propane tanks in a car trunk inside a home garage caused an explosion Tuesday evening that severely burned a man.
Emergency crews were called to the home of Christopher Brady Watson at 7716 La Finca Road in Elm City around 8 p.m.
Watson, 40, was taken to Pitt County Memorial Hospital with third-degree burns and was later transferred to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. He was in fair condition as of Thursday morning.
Maj. John Farmer with the Wilson County Sheriff's Office said investigators traced the source of the explosion to the trunk of Watson's car.
"We talked with the victim, and we don't know if it was something that he ignited himself accidentally or if it was something that he meant to do," Farmer said.
Investigators said Watson was the only person near the home at the time of the explosion. The blast blew off both garage doors and left twisted metal in the front yard.
Several homes in the area were evacuated as a precaution.
"It could have been worse," neighbor Donald Battle said Tuesday evening. "It could have been worse. Thank God it's not as bad as it could have been."