Local News in Brief : Westminster : Man Suffers Burns in Propane Explosion

The owner of an automobile tuneup shop suffered severe burns on the chest, face, back and arms when a propane tank erupted into flames Wednesday, spreading fire through the building, fire officials said.

The fire caused $25,000 damage to the Accutune Auto Electric building in the 15100 block of Moran Street, and another $30,000 to its contents before the fire was brought under control, Westminster Fire Department Battalion Chief Don Herr said.

The owner of the business, Steve Oliver, was treated at the scene by paramedics, then taken by an ambulance helicopter to the burn unit at UCI Medical Center in Orange. He was listed in serious but stable condition with second-degree burns over 30% to 40% of his body.

Herr said Oliver was fixing a leaking propane tank in his shop and that it exploded while Oliver was working on it.


The incident occurred at 4:54 p.m., about 100 yards from a Westminster Fire Department station, which meant firefighters were able to get there quickly, Herr said. It took only about 10 minutes to control the blaze, he said.

The firefighters “were inside the fire station when they heard a knock on the door. Workers from the area said there was a fire down the street. They got on their rigs and drove down the street,” Herr said.

“You can’t pull hose that far,” he explained.