Rico home explosion still under investigation

Rico disaster killed woman

The investigation into a propane leak and explosion at a Rico home on Jan. 23 is ongoing, according to fire officials.

Lisa Salliby, 42, was killed in the explosion, which leveled the home on Piedmont Street and sent debris flying 100 yards away. No one else was home at the time.

Officials suspect a propane leak caused a buildup of the gas in the home, and then it was ignited by a spark. The origin of the leak and spark is under investigation, and is hampered by heavy snowpack.

Rico Fire District Chief Todd Jones said independent fire investigators, Dolores county officials and others will meet in coming weeks to sift through the debris and try to determine a cause. Until then, the site is cordoned off.

Fire officials advise the public to check propane and gas lines, and be aware that snow loads can shift, causing pipes to break. Also, homeowners and renters need to clear rooftop vents from snow to avoid buildup of gases in the home. Carbon monoxide detectors with alarms should also be installed.

A memorial fund for Salliby has been established at https://www.gofundme.com/lisa-salliby-memorial-fund.