Community, authorities react to fatal Cache County house explosion
Mar 10, 2023, 12:00 PM | Updated: 1:38 pm
(Hugo Rikard-Bell, KSL NewsRadio)
CACHE COUNTY, Utah — A deadly explosion and fire destroyed a home in the farming community of Cache Junction overnight. The explosion killed one person and hospitalized two others.
The Cache County Sheriff’s Office identified John, Caryn, and Joshua Mullins as the family involved in the explosion. John Mullins died in the explosion and Caryn and Joshua remain hospitalized.
Cheryl Wall was in her home nearby when it happened.
“All [of] Cache Valley could hear it. It was so big. And I thought, ‘something’s gone now.’And then after that I went and looked out and then I saw the fire,” Wall said.
Wall said the community is reeling.
“I’ve known them for a while, they’ve been in my ward ever since they moved down from Idaho,” she said, adding “We’ve got about a total of 50, maybe 55 people if we’re lucky. Losing one is not good, especially through a fire.”
For neighbor Lamar Clements, it was a regular Thursday night.
When the explosion happened, his first thought was that it was an earthquake. But once he realized what happened he immediately ran to help.
“[I] run up there. And the firefighters started to come in. And he was trying to get water on and it was burning intensely, particularly on the south end. And I could hear someone down there yelling for help.”
He continued, “You just never know when something comes along, bad things can happen to good people.”
Rod Hammer, Cache County Fire Chief, said two dogs also died in the explosion.
“During the rescue, I think we came out with at least five dogs. There were a couple that we found that were deceased,” Hammer said.
The Cache County Sheriff’s Office posted a video on their Facebook of firefighters rescuing Caryn Mullin from the explosion saying, “The men and women who put their lives on the line to save Caryn demonstrated heroic behaviors as expected in Cache County.”
VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED: This video contains images some may find graphic.
Chief Hammer said authorities are still looking into the cause of the explosion.
Some neighbors think the house ran on propane, and think that could have caused the explosion.
While an ongoing investigation, Hammer reminded folks to clean snow off their gas meters.
“With the storms that we’ve had and the snow loads we got, we just need to be careful about snow and ice dropping onto gas meters. And then of course, any normal precautions with indoor heating and natural gas or propane devices.”