House explosion near Waynesville sends two to hospital

“We knew we had an explosion and two significant burn patients out in the backyard of the house,” said Wayne Twp. Fire Lt. Paul Bernard. “There’s significant damage inside the house. The cabinets in the kitchen area have been moved significantly.”

Neighbors reported the explosion just before 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the 3000 block of Lytle Road, northwest of Waynesville.

The men, who were not immediately identified but believed to be at least in their 60s, were working on a furnace connected to a propane tank when the explosion occurred in the basement of the residence.

Bernard said both of the victims suffered “pretty significant” injuries to the hands, arms, face and head, but were able to crawl out of the home before emergency crews arrived.

“One of them in particular had some significant inhalation injuries,” Bernard said.

A cause of the blast was not immediately known, but Bernard said the Warren County Fire Investigations Team will work to establish the cause of the explosion, which left the house uninhabitable.

Witnesses in the area said they were surprised at some of the damage they saw when they arrived at the home.

“I come out here and looked at the house and noticed a fireplace had blown off the roof,” said David England, of Wayne Twp., who said he knew one of the victims flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. “Most of the time you hear a gas explosion you think of the house being completely leveled.”

Bernard said he is not sure whether either man working on the furnace was certified to be performing the maintenance, but advised others to hire professional help.

“It’s probably advisable to get a qualified, certified technician to do some of this work,” Bernard said.

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