HELENA – An explosion and ensuing fire near Hauser Lake Tuesday night destroyed a trailer and left a disabled veteran homeless according to officials.
Crews from Tri-Lakes Volunteer Fire Department responded around 8:00 p.m. Aided by East Valley Volunteer Fire, crews fought the blaze for more than 5 hours.
Tri-Lakes Fire Chief Bob Drake said the home is a total loss and the cause of the fire and explosion appear to be from a propane heater.
When the explosion happened the owner was inside the structure but only suffered bruising and minor burns.
“It blew a 8 foot by 8 foot section of wall out, all the windows and the doors out. He’s very lucky to be alive,” said Drake. “He singed the hair all over his face. He had a full beard and hair.”
He was checked out by St. Peter’s medics before being released.
The heater believed to have caused the incident was being used under the trailer to thaw frozen pipes.
Three dogs were also at the residence at the time of the fire. One of the animals died.