Neighbors Heard Blast Prior to Three-Alarm MA House Fire

Stephen Landry

The Gardner News, Mass.

(MCT)

Jul. 23—WESTMINSTER — Fire officials are investigating a blaze that damaged a home on South Ashburnham Road on Thursday, July 22.

The 3-alarm blaze, which was called in at 10:03 a.m., caused significant damage to an attached garage before spreading to the rest of the single-residence home at 345 South Ashburnham Road. However, the structure was not a total loss, according to fire officials.

The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental. Officials said a propane tank attached to a barbecue smoker exploded on the rear porch of the house near the garage. Neighbors reported hearing the explosion and seeing smoke near the home.

One firefighter was treated for minor injuries and transported to Heywood Hospital in Gardner. Nobody in the home was injured in the explosion or the ensuing fire.

Damage to the home was estimated to be more than $300,000, according to fire officials.

Fire departments from several surrounding communities, including Gardner, Hubbardston and Fitchburg, responded to the blaze. Crews from Holden, Sterling, Barre and Leominster also assisted.

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