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Mar 29,2007
One injured in NW Bend propane explosion
by Cheryl McDermott

One person was injured, a garage door was blown off its track, and two vehicles were damaged when attempts to light a camp stove inside a garage caused an explosion in a northwest Bend home Thursday morning, fire officials said.

Emergency dispatch received a 911 call shortly after 10:30 a.m. from a person who reported hearing a loud explosion near NW Milwaukee Avenue and NW Union Street in Bend, and that a garage door had been blown out of a house. 

Bend Fire crews responded to 1177 NW Federal Street, a two-story house occupied by John Robinson.  Upon arrival, firefighters found no fire, but did find damage to the structure and two vehicles, apparently caused when propane ignited as Robinson was attempting to light a single-burner propane camp stove in the garage.

Fire Inspector Dan Derlacki said the garage doors facing the alley were blown off their tracks, the door leading from the garage to the house was damaged, and portions of the walls were damaged by flying debris.  Losses to the structure, owned by Reed and Sara Fitkin, were estimated at $5,000, and two vehicles – a Ford SUV and a BMW sedan – received about $1,000 in damage, the inspector said.

Robinson was transported by ground ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, where he was reportedly treated and released.

Derlacki reminds citizens using any flammable or combustible gas or liquid to do so in a well ventilated space.  The vapors can collect in a confined space and may ignite when the mixture in the air is "right".  “This goes for cooking, heating, furniture refinishing, vehicle repair and other projects that may cause flammable vapors,” he cautioned.

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