Explosion damages Rockland home

Posted July 26, 2012, at 5:38 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A propane tank explosion caused extensive damage Thursday morning to a house on Pleasant Street, the fire department said. There were no injuries.

Assistant Rockland Fire Chief Mikial Mazzeo said the explosion was the result of rags stored in the basement that had finishing solvents on them. The rags heated up, ignited and caused a nearby one-pound propane tank that was stored in the basement to explode.

The homeowner, Augustus Wellman Jr., came home around 10:30 a.m. to find that a corner of his house on Pleasant Street had been blown out. At first the homeowner thought a car had struck the house, Mazzeo said.

Wellman went inside the house and found a fair amount of black smoke. He then called 911. The fire department found a small fire and some smoke in the basement, quickly extinguishing it, Mazzeo said.

The fire official recommended that propane tanks not be stored inside a home.