Union County house explodes, man transported to Vanderbilt

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MAYNARDVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A man has been transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center after reports of a house explosion in Union County.

Paulette Fire Department Chief Daniel Rice said around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday crews were sent to 3071 Hickory Valley Road on reports of an explosion and a man on fire.

Union County EMS and Sheriff’s Office arrived and assisted in extinguishing the fires on the man.

The man had burns on more than 50% of his body and was flown by LifeStar to UT Medical Center according to Rice, who said the man was also the homeowner. No one else lives at the home.

Later Wednesday evening, Rice said the homeowner had been flown to Vanderbilt.

When firefighters arrived, the home was engulfed in flames and is a total loss. Rice said the cause is still under investigation but is believed to be a failure in a propane heating unit.

“It’s hard to believe that, I’ve lived here since I was two. That house has always been there. It’s going to be rough to look down and not see it,” said neighbor Jeff Maples.

Maples spoke highly of his neighbor. “He would help me do anything. He’s an older man, he tries to help me with anything I’m doing,” he said.

Paulette, Northeast Union, Sharp’s Chapel, Lutrell and Maynardville fire departments, as well as Union County Sheriff’s Office, EMS, and Rescue Squad responded to the scene.

(Photo: Union News Leader)
(Photo: WATE)
(Photo: WATE)
(Photo: WATE)
(Photo: WATE)
(Photo: WATE)

Full interview at the scene:

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