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Holton home explosion likely caused by propane leak

13 SKY EYE caught drone footage of the home explosion site after a fire rekindled there...
13 SKY EYE caught drone footage of the home explosion site after a fire rekindled there Tuesday, May 11, 2021.
Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 12:43 PM CDT
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HOLTON, Kan. (WIBW) - Jackson Co. Sheriff Tim Morse says the likely cause of a home explosion in rural Holton last week was due to a propane leak.

Morse said a sizeable amount of propane is believed to have leaked into the home from a nearby propane tank, however, the location of that leak was unidentifiable.

The explosion is not believed to be criminal in nature.

What sparked the blast remains under investigation.

The explosion was reported around 6:15 p.m. Monday, May 10, near 270 Road and Q4 Road, just northeast of Jackson Heights High School.

Billy “Lu” Griffiths, 61, of Holton, was killed in the blast. His wife, Teri, was airlifted to a Kansas City hospital with serious injuries.

The home is a complete loss. Residents reported hearing the blast from miles away.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help cover costs of Griffiths’ funeral, as well as towards Teri’s medical bills, and to replace items lost in the explosion.

Last week, Shawnee Co. Commissioner Bill Riphahn said Griffiths worked with Shawnee Co. Parks and Recreation for over 35 years.

He described Griffiths to 13 NEWS as a “family man” and “a tremendous asset” to Parks and Rec.

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