Massive explosion destroys building in Franklin County; one man in critical condition - East Idaho News

Massive explosion destroys building in Franklin County; one man in critical condition

  Published at  | Updated at

THATCHER — A person in critical condition was airlifted to a burn unit in Salt Lake City Tuesday following a massive explosion that leveled an agricultural building in Franklin County.

The explosion occurred around 6 a.m., in the small, unincorporated community of Thatcher. Firefighters from Franklin County, Caribou County and the city of Grace responded and discovered the approximately 10,000-square-foot building had been obliterated.

Franklin County Fire Marshal Matt Gleed said that when they arrived at the scene, they could see that the building was completely destroyed.

“It’s not going to be rebuilt. They’re gonna have to build an entirely new building,” Gleed said.

Idaho State Fire Marshal Knute Sandahl said the building had been an indoor riding facility. Pictures show very little of the building remains standing, and officials say the windows of nearby homes had been blown out by the blast.

Officials confirmed one person received life-threatening burns during the explosion. Gleed said the man was able to crawl out of the rubble on his own. He was then transported by his wife in a private vehicle to Logan Hospital before he was airlifted to Utah. The person’s current condition is unknown.

Sandahl isn’t aware of any other injuries that were caused by this blast. Authorities focused on rescuing the injured man and making sure there weren’t injuries at the surrounding homes.

At the time of the explosion there were no animals inside the building, Gleed said.

The Idaho Fire Marshal’s Office has begun an investigation into the cause of the explosion. Sandahl has two deputy fire marshals on the scene to investigate the cause of the destruction. He expects the investigation to last at least through the rest of the week.

“What appears initially is that something transpired in (the office). Right now, the initial indication is that there may have been a propane leak and we don’t know quite what the ignition source is at this point,” Sandahl said. will update this story when further updates become available.

barn blown
Courtesy Franklin County Fire District