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Outagamie Co. propane explosion injures man

Posted at 12:43 PM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-17 20:13:51-05

An explosion and fire in a machine-type shed east of Freedom sent one man to the hospital Wednesday. His condition is unknown.

The shed owner called in the fire Wednesday morning, according to Freedom Fire Chief Mark Green. When crews arrived, the building was already engulfed in flames, he said.

The shed had wood-working materials in it, according to Green. The building and everything inside is a total loss.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but there was an explosion in the shed before crews arrived, Green said.

"There was a forklift in the building and that could've been the explosion deal," Green said. "A lot of times forklifts have got a propane fuel, that might have been what that was but I can't confirm that for sure."

After an explosion caused by a leaking propane tank happened just last week in Appleton, there are some questions about safety. The Wisconsin Propane Gas Association has answers.

"Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames," said Executive Director Emma Shultz. "You would not want to operate any lights, appliances, telephones or cell phones if there are flames or sparks."

Shultz also said to leave the area immediately if you smell gas, and shut off the main supply if possible. It is also important for people who have propane tanks on their property to get them regularly checked to avoid any problems, especially in the winter.