(BUTLER COUNTY, Kan.) — What caused a propane explosion near Rose Hill Tuesday is still under investigation. While the fire marshal tries to figure out what happened, residents look at the damage left behind. The explosion started when two workers were filling propane tanks inside a building at Global Propane. One of the men died and the other is still in the hospital.
Authorities evacuated people living within a mile of the explosion site Tuesday. They started to let people back in early Wednesday morning. That's when Brandon Cook found the house he grew up in leveled. "There's our old front door right there, where we walked inside," Cook said. But you wouldn't know it, there's little left to identify after the explosion. Cook was home when he heard the sounds. "I realized the damn propane place is going up. That's why I left. It's kind of crazy," he said.
What's even crazier is two houses down. "When you look around this house shouldn't be standing, it shouldn't," said Erin Carson. Her rental home is closer to the explosion site and it's fine, aside from some burnt siding. "How did this get missed, I don't have any idea," she said. But she feels lucky because it leveled the brick building next door. "Compared to everything else I see. I'll take anything I have."
Cook is just happy to have his life. "I was blown up by propane before." A propane torch exploded in his hand years ago, which is why he reacted the way he did Tuesday. "That's why I freaked out so much. I don't need any more experiences with propane at all," he said. It's already scarred his arm and now destroyed his home.