Fire investigators have determined that a propane leak within a heating unit led to the house explosion Friday in Norfolk that killed one man and injured seven others.
The leak happened in the basement of the building where contractors were working on the heating system.
“Investigators believe this was an isolated incident related to the work being done in the basement,” Norfolk Fire Chief Coleman Bushnell said in a statement.
But what caused the leak remains unclear, said Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for the state fire marshal’s office.
“Something happened in that basement that caused the leak,” she said.
The explosion Friday afternoon in an unfinished unit of a duplex sent eight people to the hospital, including two firefighters, and destroyed the unit. A Blackstone electrician, trapped in the basement under debris for more than an hour, later died of his injuries.
Another propane leak was discovered the day of the explosion in a separate residence in the neighborhood, according to the fire marshal’s office, but it was repaired that day. The cause of that leak was a manufacturing issue, Mieth said.
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