COPLIN PLANTATION, Maine – A Maine man said he was blown away, literally.
A possible propane explosion set his camp on fire near Flagstaff Lake.
Timothy Henderson built the camp in Coplin Plantation nearly 50 years ago. He was there Monday night finishing some repairs when an explosion and fire destroyed his camp in a matter of minutes.
“I built it in 1968,” Henderson said.
Speaking from his hospital bed at Maine Medical Center, Tim Henderson said the camp was his home away from home during the 45 years he was on the ski patrol at Sugarloaf. He said he heated some hot dogs and beans on his propane stove, had supper, and was walking out to his pickup for some tools when his camp exploded.
“As I was exiting, I lit my tobacco pipe and all hell broke loose,” Henderson said.
He said the explosion blew the kitchen door behind him off its hinges and sent him flying into the yard. He realized his clothes were on fire so he rolled in the snow to put the fire out. He then got up and grabbed a fire extinguisher, but said fire was everywhere.
“It was like Napalm landed on it. Instantly, furniture, ceilings, walls, carpets, everything was on fire,” Henderson said. “She was burning pretty good when I left in the ambulance.”
The 71-year-old said he has first and second degree burns on his head, face, neck and hands. He said he’s just glad his wife stayed home and wasn’t hurt. He’s also glad his back was turned away from the explosion and said he’s still not sure what happened. Fire investigators are still trying to determine the cause.
“I don’t know. Either I didn’t turn the stove all the way off or the burner went out and gas escaped into the camp,” Henderson said.
Henderson said doctors are now deciding whether to perform skin grafts on him. He said he’s in some pain, but is doing OK.