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Propane Tank Explosion in Cheshire Destroys Property

By Jeff Snoonian
iBerkshires Correspondent
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A Lake Shore Drive structure and recreational vehicle were destroyed by an explosion in Cheshire on Friday night.
CHESHIRE, Mass. — A propane tank explosion rocked Lake Shore Drive on Friday night at about 8. Miraculously, there were no injuries but the recreational vehicle and adjacent structure are a total loss. 
 
Occupant David Willett said he was fortunate to get out unharmed.
 
"I was up watching TV and smelled a weird odor," he said on Saturday at the scene. "I got out of there and called 911."
 
Two minutes later the propane tank exploded. 
 
Lake Shore Drive is a dead-end road off Lanesborough Road, not far from the Route 8 intersection. The lane runs down the center of a small, curving peninsula into Cheshire Reservoir. 
 
The conflagration could be seen from the north end of the lake where residents gathered in the lake access parking lot to watch. 
 
According to the Cheshire Fire Department, firefighters were dispatched at 8:06 p.m. for a report of a fully involved house fire with propane tank explosions. The first engine company on arrival reported heavy fire showing from an RV that was parked directly next to a residence. The residence was also on fire.
 
Several propane tanks exploded while firefighters were battling the blaze, according to the statement by Cheshire Fire. The investigation by Chief Thomas Francesconi and a trooper with the State Police Fire Investigative Unit has determined the fire is not suspicious "and appears to be the result of a mechanical malfunction."
 
Members were on scene until 3 a.m. Saturday. Chief Francesconi thanked the Adams, Lanesborough, Savoy and Dalton fire departments for their assistance at the scene and covering the station, as well as Adams Ambulance Service,  Cheshire Police and utility crews.
 
Willett has been in contact with his sister and brother, who are on their way with clothes and supplies as everything he owned was lost — including the bike he uses to get to work. He wanted everyone to know that he is OK and very lucky.
 
He said Cheshire Fire will continue monitoring the situation Saturday as a precaution.
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