Winslow Man Injured In Propane Tank Explosion

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WINSLOW (KFSM) — Several residents are rattled after an early morning explosion caused a man to be taken by an emergency medical helicopter to a Springfield, Mo., hospital for treatment.

The man, who neighbors identified as Gary Mills, was flown to a hospital for treatment of severe burns, said Boston Mountain Fire Chief Dewey Drummond.

The explosion happened shortly after 2 a.m., Thursday (Dec. 1). Residents said it sounded like a bomb detonating.

Drummond tells 5NEWS that firefighters suspect the cause of the explosion was a propane tank that was attached to a camper trailer, which was parked in the area of 600 Main St.

Rhonda and Michael Koontz said they were sleeping when the explosion happened.

"At first I thought a tree hit the house," Rhonda Koontz said.

Koontz said she found her neighbor about 50 feet away from the camper trailer in a field. Fire crews said they believe the explosion shattered the walls of the home and threw Mills into the field.

Koontz said she asked Mills what had happened.

"He went to fire his stove because he was going to cook some eggs," she said.

Koontz said she called the burn unit to check on Mills.

"The gentleman couldn't remember any names except for mine and he put me as an emergency contact. They gave me information. He's doing really good. They don't know when he is going to be released but he knows that I called," she said.