May 3, 2017 – Fire investigators believe heavy snow led to a propane pipe breaking allowing gas to leak into the home that ultimately exploded and caught fire, completely destroying the home on Muir Ct in Serene Lakes last Friday. Investigators found a broken gas line just outside of the home below 10 – 15 feet of snow. The house was unoccupied at the time and there were no injuries.
Fire Marshal Craig Harvey said “In cases like these the snow shifts and settles sometimes breaking exposed pipes. The leaking propane gas, which is slightly heavier than the air, will flow into low spots and structures like this nearby home. Once that gas reaches explosive levels it can come in contact with a heat source like a water heater pilot light causing a large explosion followed by a fire, like what probably happened in this case.”
Call 911 to report gas odors. The fire district and gas companies will respond to identify the source and shut down gas. Also, remember to keep propane tanks and lines clear of snow. Call Truckee Fire at 530-582-7850 for more information.