Fairdale home explosion puts firefighter in ICU

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by Adam Lefkoe

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 26, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 27 at 4:04 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- An explosion rocked a Fairdale neighborhood Sunday night after one man was remodeling his basement.  The explosion left the home destroyed and has one firefighter in the Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital.  Mark Long, a Camp Taylor firefighter, suffered second and third degree leg burns after falling through the floor of the burning home. 

The explosion happened in the basement of the home on Minute Men Court in Fairdale.  Mark Sturgeon, the owner of the home, was staining the concrete floor in his basement.  He used materials he had researched and bought online.

“I tried to do it myself and save some money.  You know, because I was thinking I could do it because I do my own construction on my own personal property,” Sturgeon said.

The process required acetone, a highly flammable chemical.  Sturgeon said the hot water heater switched on automatically causing an explosion.  It created enough pressure to smash the windows from the back of the house. 

“The vapors were contained within a confined area so they were going to find an ignition point within a matter of time.  There's no way to really ventilate a basement for that product in my opinion,” Chief Don Wittry, the Fairdale Fire Department, said.

Mark and his children were able to escape unharmed. 

 

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