DERBY, Kansas – One man is dead after an explosion leveled a home near Derby Monday night.
Family members say 88-year-old Roland “Andy” Dayton was in his house by himself.
The Sedgwick County Fire Department is still investigating as to what caused the explosion. They say propane could be the culprit.
A neighbor tells us it was so powerful that it blew a rug into a tree. For that neighbor, Monday night’s explosion is something he’ll never forget that took away a friend and neighbor.
“I’ve never experienced anything like it before,” said friend of Roland Dayton Todd Ames.
Ames lives right next door and heard the massive explosion before 10 p.m. Monday night.
“It was an explosion which I haven’t. I can’t describe,” Ames said. “It was not like a lightning bolt. It was similar to the Garvey grain elevator.”
“This one had enough fuel in there, that when it did ignite it, it had a very powerful explosive force behind it,” said Sedgwick County Fire Marshal Daniel Wegner.
Family members and Ames tells us Dayton was inside of his house when it happened.
“I thought the neighbors garage blew up on the north side of me because of the light that came through the window all of a sudden. I ran outside and saw the fire and the house was gone,” Ames said.
As friends and family wait to learn more, the Fire Marshal continues to look into exactly what happened to spark the blast.
“We have a very large debris area here. It goes several hundred yards around. It was a 360 degree pile,” said Wegner.
Family members lowered the flag in front of his house half way as a way to show respect to their beloved veteran.
Ames tells us he’s known Dayton for more than 20 years. He calls him a dear friend that will be missed by many. Ames hopes Roland will be remembered as a proud veteran.