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Archuleta County resident seriously injured in explosion near Allison

Blast apparently occurred while lighting water heater pilot light
Colorado Highway 151 was closed briefly Friday near Allison to allow a Flight For Life helicopter to land. A patient was ultimately taken by ground ambulance to Mercy Regional Medical Center, but the helicopter flight crew assisted with care.

Medics responded Friday to a water heater explosion about 3 miles north of Allison near the La Plata-Archuleta line.

The blast near Archuleta County Road 988 reportedly injured one person, causing third-degree burns. Los Pinos Fire Protection District took the patient to Mercy Regional Medical Center. No further information about the person’s identity or condition was immediately available.

A Flight For Life helicopter responded to the scene, but the patient was ultimately taken by ground to the hospital. The helicopter landed on Colorado Highway 151. The Southern Ute Police Department also responded to the call.

“From what we know so far, they were lighting a pilot light on a water heater and it blew up,” said Chief Tony Harwig with Los Pinos.

The explosion was reported about 10:45 a.m. at a Quonset hut on private property being used as a meat shop.

Los Pinos responders said the explosion blew out the back wall of the building, with some building materials landing up to 50 yards from the building. It started a small ground fire, but people at the scene put it out with a garden hose, Harwig said.

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