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Young mother injured in propane blast to remain in hospital

Sean I. Mills
Staff writer
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Posted 12/3/19

VERNON CENTER — The young mother who was injured in a propane explosion at the Quiet Valley Trailer Park will remain in the hospital for another week undergoing surgery, fire officials said. Her …

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Young mother injured in propane blast to remain in hospital

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VERNON CENTER — The young mother who was injured in a propane explosion at the Quiet Valley Trailer Park will remain in the hospital for another week undergoing surgery, fire officials said.

Her two young children have since been treated and released and turned over to other family members, officials stated.

Vernon Center Fire Chief Peter Ropetski said Tuesday he is very grateful that all three made it out of the blast alive Sunday night. He credits two nearby “heroes" with helping minimize the damage.

Following the 7:15 p.m. explosion, the chief said neighbors from around the trailer park came out to see what had happened. The chief said several neighbors moved in to help, especially two men.

“These guys went above and beyond,” Ropetski said. One lived at the trailer park and the other was visiting a family member.

“They didn’t have to go in there, but if they didn’t, things could have been a lot worse."

The chief said the blast launched the 2-year-old daughter in her crib out of the home, and she was picked up by one of the men. The other man went into the blast zone and pulled the 5-year-old daughter from her bunk bed. The men also assisted in pulling out the 21-year-old mother, officials said. The three were brought to a neighboring mobile home to wait for rescue personnel.

Chief Ropetski said the two men were also wise enough to turn off the propane tanks attached to the mobile home and roll them away from the area. The chief said the men were humble, but he considered them “heroes”. One of them was treated for smoke inhalation.

The investigation into the cause of the explosion remains ongoing, the chief said. The state Office of Fire Prevention and Control will take several months to complete their full report.

The state investigators have so far settled on the cause being “undetermined, but it’s looking purely accidental,” Ropetski said. The investigation is focusing on the propane stove and the cooking area as the origin of the blast.

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