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One Dead As N.C. Home Blown Apart

October 6, 2001

WAYNESVILLE, N.C. (AP) _ A house explosion that killed a woman and scattered debris for blocks was probably caused by a propane leak, police said.

The explosion Thursday sent flames towering into the sky, shook windows and walls in the neighborhood, and forced authorities to evacuate nearby homes.

The victim, Penny Moore, was found Friday in the rubble, police Chief Bill Hollingsed said. Her husband, Jack, was pulled from the ruins by neighbors and was not seriously injured.

Investigators believe the house’s propane system leaked. Moore had told her husband and neighbors that she’d smelled fumes, Hollingsed said.

``It had built up and there was some kind of ignition,″ Hollingsed said.

The blast caused power outages across town, authorities said. All power had been restored Friday.

``It was every bit as loud as a rocket,″ neighbor Jim Partridge said. ``It was an explosive force that went right through you.″

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