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Firefighters avoid injury after propane tank explosion


Two Nebraska firefighters are lucky to be alive after a propane leak turned into an explosive Memorial Day disaster.

“All I saw was bright orange, and I felt a rush of heat and felt the concussion from the explosion,” Lincoln Fire & Rescue Captain Dean Delaney said. “Had this piece of equipment (a face mask) not been in place, the outcome certainly would have been much different.”

The face mask in question was issued protective gear that the firefighters donned prior to responding to a call of a grill fire, the heated result of a malfunctioning propane valve.

“They were done grilling, went to shut it off and the shutoff gauge just free wheeled. It wouldn’t shut,” apartment complex owner Randall Johnson said.

For the firefighters, it was like being at ground zero when a bomb goes off.

“Never have I ever experienced or seen anything like this,” Delaney said. “This was an absolute explosion that could have killed anyone within 10 feet of the thing.”

Delaney said the two firefighters were around 20 feet away when the blast went off- but the shockwave was very prominent.

“It blew out windows in the apartment we were standing next to, a hole in the side of the garage and blew us back several feet,” he said.

According to KETV7, the two firefighters were unharmed, thanks to their respirators.


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