On Aug. 6, 55-year-old Terry Reynolds of Newton tried to light a pilot light on a propane hot water heater at his rental home at 3230 N. Main St. in North Newton when propane from a probable leak ignited.


On Aug. 6, 55-year-old Terry Reynolds of Newton tried to light a pilot light on a propane hot water heater at his rental home at 3230 N. Main St. in North Newton when propane from a probable leak ignited.

It blew the house a foot and a half off of its foundation and burned Reynolds.

With burns reportedly on more than 50 percent of his body, Reynolds drove himself to the North Newton City Hall to seek help.

Reynolds was taken to the burn unit at Via Christi Medical Center-St. Francis campus in critical condition, but he succumbed to his injuries a few days later.

He was survived by a daughter, his parents and two sisters.

Officials at the scene said propane explosions are fairly rare.

However, people should make sure areas where pilot lights are being lit are well ventilated as the gas is heavier than air and will settle to the bottom of the enclosure.

The area around the house was cordoned off because the explosion made the house unstable and inhabitable.

It remains that way today.