June 19, 2018
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Deadly Yarmouth home explosion caused by propane, investigators still seeking location of leak

Russ Dillingham | Sun Journal
Russ Dillingham | Sun Journal
An aerial view of the devastation caused by an explosion Tuesday on Gables Drive in Yarmouth.
By Seth Koenig, BDN Staff

YARMOUTH, Maine — State investigators have determined that propane is likely to blame for an explosion that leveled a Yarmouth home and killed one man Tuesday.

“Propane is the likely source of this explosion,” said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. “What investigators have not been able to pinpoint is where a leak might have taken place so as to allow the gas to have escaped into the building.”

McCausland told the Bangor Daily News Wednesday afternoon that investigators from the state fire marshal’s office and solid fuel board will not return to the explosion site Thursday. He said the investigators have taken appliances and fragments of pipe from the site for further research to try and determine what leaked the volatile gas.

The explosion was reported at approximately 6:15 a.m. Tuesday and claimed the life of Peter Corey, 66, who was the resident of the 50 Gables Drive condominium where the blast occurred. Additionally, emergency responders transported at least three other nearby residents to the hospital for minor injuries.

McCausland said Tuesday that propane was the only source of fuel for heating and hot water for the condominium complex, which included seven buildings and a total of 14 units. He also said that fire investigators determined some of the other buildings in the complex to be uninhabitable, and an engineering firm has been hired to conduct an assessment of them.

Portland NBC television affiliate WCSH 6 reported Wednesday that the condos remain closed off, but that some residents were escorted by firefighters into their homes to get personal belongings.

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