Bay City News Service
A disconnected gas line that created a buildup of natural gas in a stove is suspected of causing a flash fire that killed a man at his Healdsburg-area home on Saturday, a Sonoma County fire official said Tuesday.
Troy Voelkel, 34, was trying to light the stove in his home at 473 W. Grant St. west of Healdsburg city limits around 9 a.m. when the gas ignited and caused a flash fire, Fire Marshal Roberta MacIntyre said.
Voelkel suffered second- and third-degree burns and was taken to the burn unit at the University of California at Davis Medical Center. He died there at 7:06 p.m. Saturday, a Sacramento County coroner's office spokeswoman said.
It is unknown how the quarter-inch metal gas line became disconnected, but the gas had accumulated in a 2- or 3-inch space between the stovetop and the oven, MacIntyre said.
"We're still looking at it, but the preliminary cause of the fire is the disconnected gas line," MacIntyre said.
Sonoma County Fire Capt. Bob Borges said Voelkel had lived in the small, two-bedroom, one-bathroom house at the rear of the property for about
a month. His female roommate was not home at the time of the fire, Borges
No one reported hearing an explosion, and the fire was reported after someone saw smoke, Borges said.
Voelkel was found outside the home when firefighters arrived.
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