The two men were outside hooking up a 50-gallon propane tank when the RV erupted in flames. The Cancholas speculated that the valve was not tightened enough to prevent the leak.
“This is an unfortunate accident,” said Officer Bill Schaefer, of the Refugio Police Department, who investigated the incident.
The blaze took only minutes to destroy their home.
“They have no insurance so they need all the help they can get,” Schaefer said.
Fire Chief Don Pullin said he could see the black smoke billowing into the air on the street behind the local H-E-B when he arrived at the fire station.
Something sparked the leaking propane tank, according to Pullin. The RV went up in less than seven minutes, the fire chief said.
With a leaking propane tank next to the house, the fire chief said, it is impossible to tell whether the spark ignited from the inside or outside.
“We couldn’t get the propane tank turned off, so it was tense for a while,” Pullin said.