South Derry fire cause called ‘undetermined’

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Winhall Hollow Road fire as first trucks arrive. Photo by Judy Cobb

The cause of Thursday’s explosion and fire on Winhall Hollow Road in Londonderry has been classified as “undetermined,” following an “origin and cause investigation” by the Vermont Vermont State Police Fire and Explosion Unit.

South Londonderry Fire Chief Jeff Duda had requested the probe.  According to a State Police press release, investigators met with Duda and caretaker Doug Stevens and examined the “heavily consumed remains of the house,” and classified the cause as “undetermined.”

Stevens told investigators that he had been across the road at the time of the explosion and that the house had several propane fueled appliances that were active. The house was not in use, but recent warmer temperatures had caused the snow and ice on the roof to fall and totally bury the propane gas regulator attached to the building.

Caretaker Doug Stevens, left, watches as firefighters work the blaze.Photo by Shawn Cunningham

The propane provider was on scene during the investigation to check the system, which is fueled by a 1,000-gallon underground tank that feeds the main house as well. Fire investigators say that no obvious signs of a leak were found but the fire destroyed potential burn patterns that should have been present after the explosion.

The investigators want to remind the public to take careful note of their fuel fill lines, regulators and storage areas of fuel for their homes and understand these can be affected by snow, ice and can be damaged by falling ice and snow from roofs. All these should be regularly checked during the winter and spring thaw and cleared of snow or ice to prevent damage and allow for normal operation.

No one was injured by this explosion/fire and investigators say that it is not considered to be suspicious. The building, valued at about $250,000 is considered to be a total loss.

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Filed Under: Latest NewsLondonderry

About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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