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The earth is warming, and that can cause problems with storing fuel and flammable items. But that’s not what went down in this explosion happening inside this Dodge Charger and its passenger in Charlotte, North Carolina. This wasn’t excessive heat, but a combination of a leaky propane tank that blew up like a bomb and a cigarette. 

Heat, fuel, and oxygen. Those are the three things you need to create an explosion. They were all present in this explosion. Oxygen is in the air, the fuel is the propane, and the heat was from a woman’s cigarette when she slipped out of the house for a smoke. 

What damage did the propane tank explosion cause?

Large propane storage tank
Propane tank | Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty

The results are third-degree burns, a burnt-out car, and most of her house destroyed. How this happened was that a propane tank for a barbeque was left in the back seat. Oh, and the windows were all up. 

In about 30 seconds after getting into her car, the Charger became an inferno. The trapped propane gas inside of the Charger was the problem. The heat was so intense that the vinyl siding on the house next door melted. 

“The car was just on fire at one point in time,” an eyewitness told WSOC. “And then the car led to the house being on fire. It made a big noise. And it shook everything, and everything came out of the wall and the house.”

What happened immediately after the propane tank explosion?

Moment of explosion from propane tank storage in North Carolina
Moment of explosion from propane tank storage | Security footage via WSOC-TV

Immediately after the explosion, the victim, Rashanda Bromme, fled the car. She was lucky she was able to do that. You can also see someone come out of the house to fight the fire. 

It was the Charlotte Fire Department that was finally able to put out the fire. Broome had third-degree burns and is getting treatment at the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Burn Center. 

Safeguards for propane storage

Close up of propane tank
Propane tank | Tim Leedy/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty

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As for the circumstances that led to this disaster, it goes back to storing combustible containers safely. There is always that chance there is or could be a leak. So they need to be kept in a well-ventilated area, not inside of a vehicle with the windows up. Or in a service room next to the washer and dryer. 

We won’t get into the whole smoking thing which probably everyone that either does or doesn’t smoke wishes never happened. What’s wrong with bubble gum? But at least don’t spit it out on the sidewalk.

Anyway, this is a telling tale of what not to do with your car or with your flammable canisters. That includes charcoal fluid, gasoline, paint thinner, and on and on.