An explosion destroyed a 200-year-old house in the central Massachusetts town of Lancaster at 2:30 p.m. today, fire officials said.
Fire officials suspect propane played a role in the explosion, but whether the gas merely fueled the resulting fire or actually sparked the explosion remains under investigation, said Jennifer Mieth, a spokeswoman for the state fire marshal’s office.
No injuries were reported in the blast, she said.
Annie Parrow, owner of the home at 222 Ponakin Road, had left late Thursday night to
meet the rest of her family in New Hampshire on a ski trip, family members said.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Parrow’s sister, Eileen Simoneau. “Her friends called us and told us and we didn’t know until we got here if anyone was home.”
Simoneau said she had spoken to her sister on her cellphone, and “she is worried about her pet degu.”
Lancaster, Leominster, Clinton and Sterling’s fire departments responded to the explosion.
National Grid shut off the power to a transformer near the home as a precaution.
The explosion destroyed the home and blew out the front and side walls of the first floor. The second floor was also damaged.
Denis Damore, who lives five houses down from the damaged home, said he first realized something had happened when fire engines began barrelling down the street.
“We heard a propane tank blew out the side of the house, they told us,” Damore said.
The houses in the neighborhood are spaced fairly far from each other, he said.
Parrow’s husband was heading back from Rumney, N.H., where the family was skiing, family members said. She was staying in New Hampshire with their three boys 16, 14, and 12. The family owns a home near Rumney, family said.
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