Fire Investigators determine cause of Vernon home explosion

An excavator is already on the scene tearing up debris from a home explosion in Vernon Thursday afternoon (WTNH / Kent Pierce)

VERNON, Conn. (WTNH) — Fire Investigators have figured out what caused a Vernon home to explode on Thursday.

At a press conference Saturday, fire officials say a propane leak from a gas line attached to a dryer in the home caused it to explode and collapse on Thursday afternoon. Investigators say the explosion has been deemed accidental.

Related Content: Vernon home explodes, collapses with people trapped inside

Five people were trapped inside the home after it collapsed and had to be rescued. As of Saturday, two victims, ages 7 and 12, remain hospitalized at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center where they are listed in good condition. A 15-year-old and a 12-year-old have been discharged. A 23-year-old adult male is in stable condition at Hartford Hospital; 35-year-old Nicole Kerstetter remains in critical condition.

Related Content: All victims of Vernon home explosion expected to survive

Locals in the community are now working to collect donations help the family get back on their feet with food, clothing, toiletries and school supplies.

“The Vernon Public Schools have announced that they will be accepting donations at Vernon Public School buildings during normal business hours,” said Lieutenant William Meier of the Vernon Police Department.

Local, state and federal investigators spent long hours sifting though the rubble, and it wasn’t easy. There was so much damage, and yet they had to be careful not to damage the evidence.

“I think in terms of the damage, this ranks up there as being one of the more devastating,” said Sergeant William Bundy of the State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit.

They found that propane was the only fuel that supplied the house.

“There is natural gas on the street,” said Vernon Fire Marshal Adam Libros. “We ruled that out as a possible source for the explosion.”

Investigators will now be trying to figure out what ignited the explosion.

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