81-year-old survives explosion that levels Mississippi house
SMITHDALE, Miss. - An 81-year-old man survived an explosion that destroyed his house, driving boards into the ground and rattling houses miles away.
Son-in-law Darryl Callen of Smithdale, east of Summit, tells the Enterprise-Journal that Elmo Gilchrist is in a burn unit in Jackson, 70 miles away.
Callen says the house blew up when Gilchrist went to light his stove to cook some sausage.
He says he was amazed to see firefighters helping his father-in-law walk out of the wreckage Saturday morning.
Amite County Civil Defense Director Grant McCurley said first responders found Gilchrist under debris in his motorized scooter, calling for help.
McCurley says the house was leveled by what appears to be a propane leak. But he says officials from the State Fire Marshal's Office will investigate the explosion.
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