KEENE — A man injured in a home explosion in Keene said he placed a bottle of propane next to his lit fireplace before the blast, according to the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities originally suspected the explosion was ignited by a gas leak. However, Lt. Tom Jones later revealed the victim, 68-year-old Patrick Lawrence, told EMS crews he placed the container of propane near the fireplace before he walked into his kitchen, which was when the blast occurred.
Keene Fire Chief Matthew Gillin said authorities were called to the home Tuesday night in the 1100 block of County Rd. 317. in rural Johnson County.
When deputies arrived at the scene, the home was engulfed in flames.
"The explosion knocked him across the room apparently and probably out of harms way," Gillin said. "Because from what I understand, the burns weren't that extensive."
The homeowner was alone inside the home at the time of the explosion and transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital's burn unit.
Jones said family members told authorities the home had two gas heaters, one of which was likely on at the time of the explosion.
Gillin said Keene received help from several departments, including Alvarado, Liberty Chapel, Cleburne and the Johnson County Sheriff's Department and Johnson County Emergency Management.