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Propane tank explodes, home burns down
One sent to hospital with burns; firefighters battle brushfires
A trailer on Frontier drive burned down to ashes after a propne tank exploded as a grill was being lit.

The heat is already wreaking havoc with hazardous fire conditions in the county.

A trailer and a shed went up in flames today in the Lakeview Estates neighborhood after a gas grill propane tank reportedly exploded in the extreme heat. A resident was reportedly trying to light the grill.

Firefighters received a call shortly before 6 p.m. Friday about the residences at 49 Frontier Drive and 19 Frontier Drive.

When firefighters arrived, they found the structures already fully engulfed in flames and took defensive measures to contain the fire and make sure it didn't spread, according to Rockdale County Fire and Rescue spokesperson Sharon Webb.

One resident was transported to Rockdale Medical Center with burns, the severity of which is not known at press time. Investigators are still determining if there were residents of the other trailer as well. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Four engines, one squad and one battalion were at the scene, along with Walton County mutual aid.

Webb said home propane tanks have built-in safety release valves. "They build up so much pressure from the heat." But it's a little more unusual to have that much pressure build up in a grill propane tank, she said.

Around 5:15 p.m., about 45 minutes before the trailer fires, until about 8 p.m the RCFR battled a 25 acre brush fire near 2970 Irwin Bridge Road. Walton County firefighters and Georgia Forestry were called in for assistance in fighting the brush fire.

Two people were sent to Rockdale Medical for heat and smoke inhalation.

Webb said the RCFR has been putting out fires and responding to nonstop calls since about 3 p.m. this afternoon for everything from grass fires to gas leaks.

She urged the public to be careful when disposing of cigarette butts, lighting up grills and especially when lighting up firecrackers or sparklers. She reiterated that there is an outdoor burn ban in place.

"We're dry, we're in a drought. You just have to use some common sense," she said.

There are currently units from DeKalb, Newton, and Covington providing mutual aid to cover Rockdale County stations while Rockdale firefighters are out on calls.

"With tomorrow coming into play, you don't know what to expect," Webb said.


UPDATE (July 2): The burn victim suffered first and second degree burns to her hands and face but was released over the weekend.