Cortez Fire Chief Gives Tips for Safe Winter Propane Use

Feb 1, 2017

On January 23rd at around 4:30pm, Rico residents heard a loud boom. At first some people people thought it was a shell for avalanche control, but they soon realized it was much worse. A house had exploded, killing one of the residents and completely leveling the building. While the event is still under investigation by the Dolores County Sheriff’s Office, fire officials say that the disaster most likely happened because of a propane leak. According to Cortez Fire Protection District chief Jeff Vandevoorde, propane explosions hardly produce any fire or heat, but the force alone can destroy entire buildings. KSJD's Austin Cope sat down with him to learn more about the dangers of propane and how homeowners can avoid accidents like the one in Rico.