‘Screaming for their lives:’ 3 killed, 4 injured after Barrow County home explodes

BARROW COUNTY, Ga. — A series of explosions killed three people, injured four more and rattled a neighborhood in Barrow County over the weekend.

Channel 2′s Elizabeth Rawlins was at the rubble of the home on Hidden Acres drive, which went up in flames Saturday morning.

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The Barrow County Emergency Services said the three women that were dead were turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations Crime Lab for identification and autopsy. The fourth person went on their own to a local hospital for treatment.

Investigators haven’t released the names of the victims, but many friends and family members have been showing up at the home to drop off balloons and flowers.

Rawlins was there as the daughter of one of the survivors showed up at the scene. She only identified herself as Haylena. She said her father was seriously burned in the explosion.


“My dad lets people stay sometimes. I don’t know who all lived here,” Haylena said. “Not everyone in the house was family, but it’s still so sad.”

Neighbors said they can still hear the screams and the explosions.

“The were screaming for their life,” neighbor Kerrie Bay said. “It was gone in ten minutes.”

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Barrow County Emergency Services said the cause of the fire has now been listed as accidental. One of the occupants was using a large propane tank, typically used to supply a RV inside of the home. It was being used to supply a single propane cooking burner inside.

“I heard that they were cooking,” Key said. “They didn’t have power for a few years.”

Family members have been sifting through the pile of rubble looking for any keepsakes of their loved ones.

The tank and burner were not compatible due to coupling sizes, hose sizes, and proper fuel dispensing/pressure regulator, which led to a major leak inside. The occupants also had a wood burning stove approximately 10-15 feet away, which they were using to warm the home.

Investigators said due to the leaking of combustible flammable liquids along with the proper heat and ignition source being supplied, this combination resulted in an explosion inside the residence.

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