EAST SPARTA, Ohio – An elderly man suffered only superficial wounds after an explosion rocked his house, trapping him in the basement.
Neighbors called the East Sparta Fire Department just after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday after reporting hearing an explosion, The Repository reported. The neighbor told dispatchers that the person who lived inside the home was not responding to questions about whether he was OK.
First responders described seeing shattered windows and said the entire building was lifted off its foundation.
“It just initially blew out and lifted the whole house — kind of like a Dorothy thing — literally you could see where the house had been lifted up, separated and moved and set back down,” East Sparta Fire Chief Arnold Adams told WEWS.
Family members told WEWS that the man inside the house was 83-year-old Gerald Marcum, and said that he suffered only bumps, bruises and cuts to his face and arms.
When the house exploded, the first floor collapsed, sending Marcum falling 8 feet into the basement, The Repository reported. Adams told the newspaper Marcum was found in the middle of debris, trapped beneath the kitchen sink, which had also fallen into the basement.
“The wall cabinets, the ceiling, the stairwell, everything had fell and collapsed from the inside,” Marcum’s son told WEWS. “Everything was actually laying on the floor in the basement.”
Marcum was released from the hospital Wednesday, The Repository reported.
The cause of the explosion is under investigation, but Adams told WEWS it may be connected to a propane gas leak.
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