Man Saved from Explosion by Runaway Cats (video)

Man Saved from Explosion by Runaway Cats (video)gallowaycollens

(C. Proxmire, Sept. 10, 2013)

Last weekend a man was spared a potentially fiery fate as he came home early Sunday morning and chased two cats that ran out of his back door. When he returned the home was in flames and firefighters were at work putting them out

The man, who lived on E. Oakridge, had made a potentially fatal mistake according to Ferndale Fire Chief Kevin Sullivan. He had hooked up a propane tank to a small portable Coleman camping stove earlier in the day to test it before a trip. He left the tank connected to the stove. Even though he had turned the flow off, being connected left it more susceptible to leaking.

He then left the connected stove in the basement, which is also where the hot water heater is. The propane gas filled the basement while he was out. The cats knew there was trouble, and when he returned home at about 1:30 am, they bolted out the door.

bubble_and_bark_ad_ferndale115The force of an explosion blew the back door right off the hinges, and the fire quickly spread to all three floors of the home. No one was injured.

“The cats may very well haven given him one of their nine lives to him,” Sullivan said as he shared the story at Monday’s city council meeting.

“The safety issue is storing flammable liquids, pressurized liquids, propane etc. in your home,” he said. “They’re better stored in a shed or your garage for these very reasons.” Sullivan also said that disconnecting devices from their tanks is safer than leaving them connected, and that people should always check their tanks for leaks.

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Note: An earlier version of this story had a different picture that was posted in error.

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