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GASTONIA, N.C. -- A home in Gastonia was destroyed Monday afternoon when a propane tank exploded just seconds after a man escaped.

Emergency crews were called to the home in the 2800 block of Fair Oaks Drive around 1:50 p.m.

The homeowner, a 69-year-old man, told fire crews he smelled fumes from the propane tank and got out of the home right before it exploded. The man kept a 100-pound propane cylinder in his home for heating purposes, according to fire crews.

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Firefighters were seen standing around about five other propane tanks that did not explode.

The firefighters managed to contain the fire and keep cool a 325 gallon propane tank next to the outside of the house, said the Gastonia Fire Department in a statement.

The small house was a total loss.

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