CHESHIRE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - One person is without a place to call home after a fire tore through a camper and a cottage Friday night.
According to Cheshire Fire Chief Tom Francesconie, around 8:05 p.m., officials were called to Lake Shore Drive for a report of a fully-involved house fire with tank explosions.
Initial reports also stated that the homeowner was trapped inside a camper that was located next to the home.
Crews arrived to find that the camper was fully-involved and that one side of the cottage had caught fire.
Due to the severity of the flames, Chief Francesconie upgraded it to a three-alarm fire, which requires mutual aid from surrounding towns be brought in.
Shortly after their arrival, a 250-pound propane tank that was located in the rear of the house exploded.
Crews worked tirelessly throughout the night to douse the flames.
Upon further investigation, it was determined that the male homeowner had gotten home from work when he smelled something unusual.
He went to the back of the house to see if he could locate the source of the odor.
When he went back there, the 25-pound propane tank that was located underneath the camper exploded, causing the camper to catch fire.
Not too far away from the camper was the 250-pound propane tank.
Shortly after the smaller propane tank exploded, the safety relief valve on the larger tank gave out, causing the propane to leak out.
The pressure from the propane that was being released combined with the flames from the camper created a blowtorch-like effect and was hitting the exterior of the cottage.
The fire spread up the side of the home and into the attic, where it moved across the floor and into the ceiling.
Thankfully, no one was inside the cottage when the fire broke out.
Chief Francesconie says that both the camper and the cottage are a total loss.
We're told that some of the items that were inside the home were salvageable.
The majority of the firefighters that tackled the large blaze cleared the scene around 1:00 a.m.
Fire officials will be on scene throughout the night checking the camper and the cottage for hot spots.
Members of the Adams, Lanesborough, Dalton, and Savoy Fire Departments were called in to assist.
The American Red Cross was called to help the homeowner, but he declined their assistance and informed Chief Francesconie that he will be staying with friends that are nearby.
Relatives of the homeowner that live in Connecticut and Vermont are expected to meet with Chief Francesconie tomorrow to discuss the situation.
Chief Francesconie adds that while the cause of the fire may never be determined, the fire originated when the propane tank beneath the camper began to leak.
The office of the State Fire Marshal is assisting the Cheshire Fire Department with this investigation.