Fire investigators say a propane leak caused an explosion Wednesday night that sent an elderly Bridgton man to the hospital with serious burns.

The homeowner, Thomas Hunt, 84, "had changed the supply bottle of propane and was bleeding the air from the line when propane continued to leak into the home and ignited," the Maine Department of Public Safety said in a news release Wednesday.

Hunt was transported by United Ambulance to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he is undergoing treatment for significant burns to his body.

Hunt lives at the mobile home by himself and was the only person inside at the time of the incident.

A neighbor, Leonard Carsley, witnessed the explosion and rushed to help Hunt escape his burning home. Hunt did not immediately want to leave, but Carsley "forcefully helped Hunt out of the building," probably saving his life, the release said.

The Bridgton Fire Department, assisted by a number of local firefighters from outside the department, worked to knock down the flames. The home is considered a total loss.

Members of the State Fire Marshal’s Office were on the scene Wednesday investigating the incident and were assisted by an inspector from the Maine Propane Board and an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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