By Jeff Todd

JOHNSTOWN, Colo. (CBS4) – A Larimer County family is lucky to be alive after their house exploded Thursday morning.

“I woke up and got my eyes focused and there was a flame rolling down the wall,” said Shane Peterson who was sleeping in the basement with two of his brothers. “Grabbed my little brother over my shoulder and then we booked it outside.”

It’s believed propane had been leaking into the house for weeks. At approximately 3 a.m., the furnace likely ignited the gas, blowing out windows and entire walls off of the house.

(credit: CBS)

“The back wall is gone; the other side of the house is off the foundation about five feet. It’s like it lifted it up and slammed it back down,” Peterson said. “It’s kind of unbelievable it’s still standing today.”

Amazingly all six family members walked out to safety, with just slight burns being the worst injuries.

The house has been condemned by the county and will be demolished. But the Petersons haven’t been able to get back in and get any belongings.

CBS4’s Jeff Todd speaks with one of the victims of a home explosion in Johnstown. (credit: CBS)

They’ve been staying in a nearby hotel, and an anonymous person paid for a few extra days.

A fundraiser is being held on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1  p.m. to help the family out at the Dairy Delite, located at 3080 West Eisenhower Boulevard in Loveland.

Friends of the Peterson family have set up a GoFundMe page.

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.


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