A fire heavily damaged a house Thursday evening north of McLouth, but the occupants were able to get out safely, said Union Township Fire Chief Carl Chalfant.
Chalfant said a preliminary investigation indicated the fire started due to a propane leak to a basement water heater. An explosion occurred about 6:10 p.m. Thursday in the 12000 block of Washington Road about four miles north of McLouth.
The house was a total loss as the fire caused an estimated $90,000 in damage, Chalfant said. The family declined assistance from the American Red Cross because close family lived nearby, the fire chief said.
On Friday the Kansas State Fire Marshal Office’s was called in to investigate the cause of the fire.
Several neighboring departments also responded.