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First responders warn of propane danger after campground explosion

First responders warn of propane danger after campground explosion. (WWMT/File - MGN)

A Memorial Day weekend vacation in West Michigan took a dangerous turn after a couple survived a propane explosion inside their camper and first responders warn of gas danger.

The camper exploded at Melville's Seven Lakes Family Camp Ground Sunday afternoon and neighbors jumped into action to help the couple caught in the fire.

"Smoke was coming out of the camper. we got them out. my husband Gary and some of the neighbors got together with hoses and was able to put the fire out as much as possible," Judy Willard, a member and grounds manager, said.

Judy and Gary Willard said a propane leak caused the couple's stove to blow up.

"They was inside fixing dinner on a propane stove," Judy said.

Gary said, "Apparently he had forgotten to hook something back up and that's how the gas escaped."

First responders remind people how dangerous the gas can be.

"When it finds that spark, that right fuel-to-air mixture, you can have a massive explosion quickly and unexpectedly," Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Lt. Jason Hendrick said.

Propane becomes routine for many families as grilling season tilts into full swing.

"We kind of become complacent because it's always there and very rarely are there any incidents involving propane tanks or the cylinders we get for grills," Hendrick said.

Hendrick said it's important to routinely check how you thread your propane tank to a camper or grill and always look for leaks.

"Make sure that you're using that tank for its intended use. if you're modifying it for any purpose outside of its intended use we really can't do it safely," he said.

A pet was also rescued from the camp explosion. Good news is that the dog is doing OK and is staying with one of the couple's neighbors.

The woman involved in the explosion was released from the hospital, but her husband remains with second-degree burns.


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