Evening explosion rattles east side
Thursday, October 17th
By PAM SCHEHL
News Staff Reporter
MOUNT VERNON — Residents on the near east side of Mount Vernon were startled Wednesday evening by an explosion at 7 Greer St. The explosion was heard blocks away and neighboring houses were rattled by the shock wave.
Interim Fire Chief Chad Christopher said the explosion, which happened about 9:15 p.m., was an accident.
“[The person] was just starting a small camping cooking fire and was using a cardboard box to get the fire going,” said Christopher. “He didn’t realize that inside that cardboard box was a small, used propane tank. When it heated up, that’s what exploded. It doesn’t take too much heat to cause vapors to explode and they can explode with quite some force.”
The fire was out when firefighters arrived on the scene.
“The explosion pretty much blew the fire out,” Christopher said. “The flying debris broke a window in the garage and knocked a shelf off, but no other damage was done.”
Small cooking fires are permitted within the Mount Vernon City limits.
“You can have a small 2-by-3 (foot) cooking fire burning dried, seasoned wood,” Christopher said. “You definitely cannot burn your leaves in your backyard. One thing to be learned from this explosion is, when you are starting your cooking fire, definitely look and be careful what you are putting in there. A small container can make one heck of an explosion.”
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