Propane Leak Suspected in Deadly New Jersey House Explosion

A woman's body was found in the basement, police said

Friday, Aug 30, 2013  |  Updated 7:58 AM EDT
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Dramatic Photos: House Explodes in Hampton, NJ

Rich Maxwell

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Explosion Levels NJ House, Woman Killed

A woman died in an explosion at her New Jersey home Wednesday morning, and police say she had called neighbors for help on her cell phone, but they couldn't reach her. Tracie Strahan reports.
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Authorities say a house explosion in New Jersey that claimed a woman's life may have been sparked by a propane leak inside an appliance.

The exact cause of the blast that leveled the home in Hampton will not be known for weeks.

The home's owner, 70-year-old George Tulley, was at work when it exploded Wednesday.

His son, Robert, tells the Courier News of Bridgewater his father allowed family and friends to stay in the house. The son says his father wasn't aware that 53-year-old Deborah Smith was there.

She died in the basement despite efforts by neighbors to rescue her.

It took firefighters from 12 area fire departments one hour to extinguish the blaze.

 

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