Sep 23, 2014 8:42 PM
Danville home explosion likely caused by propane vapor
DANVILLE - A last minute decision to go out to grab some pizza Monday night instead of staying home for dinner may have actually saved one Danville couple's lives.
An historic house that William and Susan Foster have called home for the last 31 years is nearly demolished.
William Foster said, "It's not a normal house. It's 300 years old and the antiquity, and the history that's in there and the items that are in there are irreplaceable.
Many of the walls are blown off the foundation. The damage is the result of propane vapors exploding. Something that fire investigators say likely happened in the basement.
NH Fire Marshal District Fire Chief John Southwell said, "More than likely there was some sort of a leak. Somehow the propane was venting into the house or got into the house, and it does seek the lowest point of origin."
It's not just the destruction to the house that's devastating, it's also what's inside. Susan Foster said, "We restored it, put in an awful lot of money and time into it, and I collected antiques for over 40 years. You can't go out to a store and reorder things and purchase them. Not to mention the pictures and the memories.
With the structure now compromised, no one is allowed inside until the home is shored up. That means the investigation has to wait, and so do the Fosters.
Susan Foster said, "If it rains, if there is anything that's salvageable, it will be ruined and destroyed because it's all open."
The Fosters had their propane tank refilled early yesterday. They smelled an odor and called the propane company, which sent someone back out to inspect.
The Fire Marshal's office didn't release the propane company's name, but says that chain of events is a focus of their investigation.