Officials warn of propane danger after campground explosion - WNEM TV 5

Officials warn of propane danger after campground explosion

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Source: WWMT Source: WWMT

A vacation took a dangerous turn over Memorial Day weekend after a Michigan couple survived a propane explosion inside their camper.

Now, officials are warning others about the dangers of propane gas.

The camper exploded Sunday afternoon at Melville's Seven Lakes Family Campground.

Officials said neighbors jumped into action to help the couple caught in the fire.

"Smoke was coming out of the camper. we got them out. my husband Gary and some of the neighbors got together with hoses and was able to put the fire out as much as possible," said Judy Willard, a member and grounds manager.

Judy and Gary Willard said a propane leak caused the couple's stove to blow up.

"They was inside fixing dinner on a propane stove," Judy said.

"Apparently he had forgotten to hook something back up and that's how the gas escaped,” Gary said.

First responders are now reminding people how dangerous the gas can be.

"When it finds that spark, that right fuel-to-air mixture, you can have a massive explosion quickly and unexpectedly," said Lt. Jason Hendrick with Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

Propane becomes routine for many families as grilling season tilts into full swing.

"We kind of become complacent because it's always there and very rarely are there any incidents involving propane tanks or the cylinders we get for grills," Hendrick said.

Hendrick said it's important to routinely check how you thread your propane tank to a camper or grill and always look for leaks.

"Make sure that you're using that tank for its intended use. if you're modifying it for any purpose outside of its intended use we really can't do it safely," he said.

A pet was also rescued from the camp explosion. The dog is reportedly doing OK and staying with one of the couple's neighbors.

The woman involved in the explosion was released from the hospital, but her husband remains with second-degree burns.

Copyright 2018 CBS News / WWMT. All rights reserved. 

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