Propane expert advises caution as investigation in Zavalla home explosion continues

Propane expert advises caution as investigation in Zavalla home explosion continues
Source: KTRE
Source: KTRE

ZAVALLA, TX (KTRE) - Investigators returned to Pleasure Drive, northeast of Zavalla, for a second day in a row to investigate a home explosion that could have been caused by a propane leak.

According to a spokesperson with the Texas Fire marshal's Office, it could be several more weeks before the exact cause is known. While investigators dug through debris, Lyons L.P. Gas co-owner Steven Lyons, is saying it is a blessing that no one was killed at the time of the blast.

Lyons said propane is a little more flammable than natural gas because of it's formula.

"It can be very dangerous," Lyons said. "You get a gas buildup and it gets to a certain source of ignition. It can ignite and depending on how much gas you have there means how big an explosion you have."

Lyons said all homes should have copper tubing lines that carry the propane through the house. Lyons pointed out that rubber tubing is restricted inside structures and should only be used for outdoor use. While you can have a professional inspect your lines, Lyons said there are ways to do a quick check yourself.

"You may just check your metal flex lines and make sure they are in good shape," Lyons said. "Soap it. Put soap on there, and see how it reacts. Just don't strike matches or anything."

Lyons added it is also good to make sure you are not running your tanks on low and to never bring tanks inside the home or use your propane stove to heat the home. Lyons can not say for certain what caused the explosion since he was not on scene and the tank was not serviced by his company. He is also not ready to put blame on anyone.
He is just warning others trying to avoid what happened yesterday.

"Be sure and call your gas company immediately and possible you may have to shut the gas off at your tank and get somebody there as soon as possible," Lyons said."

A family member of Lyle and Elaine West said the conditions had not changed Wednesday night. Lyle West was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas where he is in critical condition. Elaine West was listed in Fair condition at a Lufkin hospital. Coleman's in Zavalla has been designated as a donation drop off for the family. The family member stated Elaine is in need of XL clothing.

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