Downstate man hospitalized with 'flash burns' after propane explosion in Osceola County

Firefighters inspect a camper that suffered fire damage Tuesday following a propane explosion.

TUSTIN — A propane explosion Tuesday evening sent a downstate man to the hospital and destroyed his camper.

Firefighters from Marion and Tustin fire departments responded to Cadillac Woods Campground on M-115 just across the Wexford/Osceola County border shortly before 6 p.m.

Marion Fire Department Chief David Turner said a man was installing a new propane system on his camper when he smelled gas. He said the man reported hearing a “whoosh” sound, which likely was flames caused by an open valve rushing toward him.

The fire erupted underneath some cabinets in the rear of the camper. Turner said they were able to get there fast enough to contain the fire before it spread to the rest of the camper, although the damage caused by the fire likely will result in the vehicle being a complete loss.

Turner said the man suffered “flash burns” from the explosion and was transported via ambulance to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The owner of Cadillac Woods Campground said the couple who owned the camper were staying at the campground semi-permanently while they looked for property to purchase in Northern Michigan.