New Brunswick

Three injured after propane tank explosion in trailer at Crystal Beach Campground

A propane tank explosion at Crystal Beach Campground at Carter's Point on the St. John River sent three people to hospital on Saturday.

The trailer burnt to the ground

A propane tank explosion at Crystal Beach Campground at Carter's Point on the St. John River sent three people to hospital on Saturday.

Mark Murchison, the campground manager, said the incident happened around 11:45 a.m. 

He was out running errands when he received a call that he needed to return immediately.

"When we were coming down on the other side of the river we could see the black smoke and the flames. I thought the whole campground was ablaze."

He said that a husband, wife and their daughter were in the trailer when the explosion happened.

The father was blown out the door and rushed back in to help his wife and daughter get out, according to Murchison.

Belinda Humphrey, the woman injured in the fire, is recovering in hospital according to her sister Janita Rolfe.

Humphrey's husband and daughter are currently in the intensive care unit but Rolfe said the hope is they will be moved out of the ICU in the next few days.

'Could have lost a lot more'

Murchison said the trailer burnt to the ground and damaged two adjoining trailers but firefighters told him it could have been worse.

"If it had been another campground where the trailers were close we could have lost a lot more."

Murchison said several campers rushed to the scene and tried to remove propane tanks from the burning trailer, and a few used a hose to try and battle the flames but had to retreat as the fire spread.

He said fire crews were unable to extinguish the trailer and focused on containing it by spraying the trailers next to it.

Randy Gowlett, fire chief for the Long Reach Fire Department which responded to the call, said the investigation into the cause of the explosion is ongoing. 

Murchison said all trailers have propane tanks in them to power the refrigerator, hot water heater and stove. 

He also said the campground will be accepting donations for the family.

With files from Blair Sanderson