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UPDATED: Man & Dog Survive House Explosion

Washington, NC - It now looks like a hot water tank did not cause the explosion yesterday that leveled a house in Washington.

Fire Chief Jimmy Davis says their investigation showed the explosion originated in the area of the gas oven.

Davis says initial reports from the victim indicated he was working on the water tank when the explosion occurred. The chief says their investigation is continuing.

James Murray is recovering from his injuries at the Jaycees Burn Center in Chapel Hill.


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A man is recovering Friday after a propane gas explosion Thursday morning leveled his home.

The man was taken to the Jaycees Burn Center in Chapel Hill, where he is listed in fair condition.

Ninety minutes after the explosion, crews made a remarkable find. The man's little dog, Toby, was pulled from the rubble. Toby is okay. (Click the video link above to see Toby)

The explosion happened on Boston Avenue in the Beaufort County city of Washington shortly before 11:00 a.m.

There is nothing left of the home. People reported hearing the explosion miles away.

Washington Fire Chief Jimmy Davis tells WITN's Michael Baldwin that the explosion happened when the homeowner was trying to light a propane hot water heater.

The victim, James Murray, was first sent to Beaufort County Medical Center, and was transferred to the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill.

Murray's sister told WITN that her brother has extensive burns to his head and face.

Some ninety minutes after the explosion firefighters managed to pull Murray's dog Toby out of the rubble, without a scratch. Chief Davis says Toby was buried underneath some of the debris, but will be fine.


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