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Gas leak blamed for explosion

A propane leak was blamed for an explosion Friday that blew off the side of a house in the Mooney Flat area.

“I just heard a big boom and then screaming,” said neighbor Sarah Van Noland, who called 911 after the 11:30 a.m. blast at 23080 Schmidt Court, which is near Mooney Flat Road.

The blast woke up renter Chandra Monson, who wasn’t injured, said Engineer Steve Robinson of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.



Monson and her roommate, who wasn’t home at the time, were housed temporarily by the Red Cross. About $150,000 in damages was caused to the roughly 1,700-square-foot house.

Firefighters suspect leaking propane in the house’s laundry room was ignited by a pilot light in a furnace or an oven.




“Basically, it blew off one side of the house,” Robinson said.

About the only way to prevent such blasts, he said, is to smell the gas before it ignites: “There’s not really any special gas detectors for propane.”

Smartville and Penn Valley firefighters also responded.


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