Soldotna house explosion burns 2 men making repairs

Associated PressJanuary 27, 2012 

In this January 26, 2012, photo, firefighters from Central Emergency Services work outside a home in Soldotna, Alaska, that exploded, sending two people to the burn unit of a hospital in Seattle, Wash.


SOLDOTNA -- Officials have released the names of the two men burned when a house exploded in Soldotna.

Central Emergency Services Safety Officer Brad Nelson told KSRM the injured men were Frank Hopper, 51, and Ken Griffith, 47, both of Soldotna.

They were transported to a Seattle hospital after the explosion. Hopper was in serious condition Friday in an intensive care unit. Griffith was listed in satisfactory condition.

Hopper owns the home, which suffered flooding damage earlier in the week. KSRM reported they were in the home trying to make repairs when the explosion occurred.

Nelson said there was a natural gas buildup in the house and the explosion was triggered when the men turned on breakers in an electrical panel. The source of the gas leak hasn't been pinpointed yet.

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