Oxygen Tank Causes Explosion in House Fire

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NEW HOPE, Ala. (WHNT) -- A small explosion took firefighters by surprise at a house fire in New Hope overnight.

It happened around 1:30  Friday morning. Steven Miller says he was cooking in the kitchen when a grease fire erupted. "I was one moment just casually getting something from the room," said Miller. "The next minute I'm outside looking at this house in flames and it was daunting."

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Miller's father is on oxygen, and that added fuel to the fire. The family of 6 did not have time to grab the oxygen tank in their hurry to evacuate the house, and it combusted. The small explosion sent three firefights to the ground. Madison County Fire Marshal Bobby Rollins says those crews responded to the situation appropriately.

"They're trained when something like that happens to get low," said Rollins. "That's what they were doing, getting low to the ground and getting out of there."

The men continued to fight the fire even after they were knocked back from the home. Rollins says it's just one of the risks that comes with the job.

"You got to have something in your heart and soul to do the job," he said. "The only thing they want to do is protect the public."

A fund has been started for the family at Cadence Bank in New Hope. It's called the "Steven E. Miller Tragedy Fund."


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