Protecting your home against propane line leaks - WNCT

Protecting your home against propane line leaks

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MERRITT, N.C. -

A funeral is set for the Pamlico County man who died after his house exploded.

Authorities say 72-year-old Robert Gibbs died early Friday morning at the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill.

The Pamlico County assistant fire marshal says a fire broke out at Gibbs' mobile home on Florence Road. Later, his house exploded from propane leak.

9 On Your Side wanted to know how to prevent a tragedy like this from happening to your family.

We spoke with the president of a propane company who says it's important to get a qualified technician to check your home any time you suspect a leak.

"Our industry is very saddened every time we hear something like this," said F. Ray Moore, the president of F. Ray Moore Oil Company in Washington, North Carolina.

--- Previous story ---

9 On Your Side has confirmed a man who was injured when part of his home exploded and burned down last week has died.

It happened around 6 o'clock Friday morning at Robert Gibbs' home on Florence Road in Pamlico County.
     
Fire Marshal Chris Murray said the 72-year-old was outside when it happened, but he had to be airlifted to the hospital, then transferred to the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill with burns. He died later that night.
     
Authorities said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the house exploded when a propane line leaked.

--- Original Story ---

A Pamlico County man is recovering from an explosion at his mobile home Friday morning.

Investigators say it happened around 6 AM in the 4200 block of Florence Road. Three fire departments arrived to find the home fully engulfed in flames.

Pamlico County fire marshal Chris Murray initially said it was just a fire, but Pamlico County assistant fire marshal Lou Jainnine now confirms it was an explosion.

Murray says the homeowner was outside when the explosion happened, and was seriously injured. He was airlifted to the hospital and taken to the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill.

Neighbors identify the victim as 72-year-old Robert Gibbs.

"He was very friendly, and very caring person. It's just a shame it happened," said neighbor Michael Sos.

The State Bureau of Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are investigating whether the explosion was caused by natural gas, a propane tank, or something else.

Authorities said the fire was contained with 30 minutes, but they spent several hours working on hot spots. They said the home is a loss.

"It's disheartening of course, because you know, I don't want to see anybody have trouble, and I'm hoping if I ever have a problem, that these people would come help me," said a neighbor, Linda Sanders.

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