A furnace explosion in New Gloucester killed a homeowner and left experts wondering how it could have happened.

Where Did This Happen?

The explosion happened around noon on Saturday, December 2nd, at 1342 Intervale Road in New Gloucester. Fire and Rescue crews were called to the scene for a report of a fire and explosion. When they arrived, they found that the homeowner, 44-year-old Lado Lodoka, had been killed while another person who had been in the residence escaped without injury. The fire was ruled accidental.

At the time of the explosion, investigators say the homeowner had been working on the home's oil-fired burner furnace. This left fire officials and heating system professionals puzzled as to what circumstances would have caused it to blow up.

What Caused the Explosion?

After an investigation, the State Fire Marshal's Office determined the cause of the fatal explosion was a steam explosion caused by thermal runaway. According to Maine Department of Public Safety Spokesperson Shannon Moss, investigators say basically, the furnace became overloaded with fuel and once it started to burn, it didn't stop. This eventually built up pressure in the boiler, which led to the failure of the boiler and created the explosion.

How Can People Avoid Encountering a Similar Situation?

The Fire Marshal's Office is reminding residents that when their home heating systems need work, they should seek out a licensed professional instead of attempting to do it on their own.

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