SOUTH SALT LAKE — An explosion rocked a South Salt Lake mobile home park Tuesday morning sending one man to the hospital with second- and third-degree burns.
Investigators said propane ignited in the man's mobile home around 7 a.m., causing it to explode while he was inside.
Seconds after an explosion blew apart the mobile home near 3300 South and 150 West, Ed Archuleta and Karen Barstead were in the middle of it helping their neighbor.
“It sounded like dynamite going off,” Barstead said.
"I heard this explosion,” Archuleta said, “and the coffee came shooting out of my mouth and I went, ‘What the heck?’"
He checked on his neighbor and asked if he was OK. “He’s just in a daze,” Archuleta said. “I mean, he just didn’t know where he was at.”
As Barstead called 911, Archuleta used a fire extinguisher to stop a fire from consuming the debris. He then turned to help his injured neighbor.
“I said, ‘You’re OK, you’re OK,' and I just checked his body over to make sure there wasn’t big wounds or something like that, but he was just still standing in a daze,” Archuleta said.
The man was taken to the hospital with burns over 50 to 60 percent of his body, South Salt Lake deputy fire chief Kevin Bowman said.
The explosion in the mobile home was the result of a propane leak, investigators said, but they didn’t know what ignited it.
“It could be a cigarette, it could be a match, it could be a lighter, a water heater kicking on, a stove, I don’t know,” Bowman said.
The owner of the mobile home park, Don Warenski, said in his more than 50 years of ownership nothing like this had ever happened. He said he felt fortunate so many residents of the park rushed to help a neighbor in need.
"Had they not got in there with their fire extinguisher, it would have been much worse, they more or less saved the day,” he said.