VEYO, Utah (ABC4) – New details are being released on an investigation after a family’s RV exploded in Veyo. According to the Utah State Fire Marshall’s Office, there was a failure with the propane heater.
It’s been just over two weeks since the Copeland’s, a family of six, lost everything they owned after the RV they renovated, hoping to travel the country with, exploded.
“They survived explosions that were seen as far as 10 miles away,” says Janie Hawley, a family/friend of the Copeland’s.
Two of the four children and their father are dealing with extensive injuries after fire officials say some of the family was inside of the bus and the others were outside when the explosions began.
“Kyle is the hero, he went into the flames to save his children and they would have passed away if he had not done that,” says Hawley.
“There was a failure with the propane heater that was being used in the bus, that created a blow torch type of effect which unfortunately caused some serious burns to members of the family and a terribly tragic and unfortunate situation,” says Todd Hohbein, a Senior Investigator with the Utah State Fire Marshall’s Office.
“It’s going to be a vast, long road for all of them, especially Pepper the 11 year old, she may be in the hospital a year or longer,” says Hawley.
Hawley began a fundraiser online, raising more than $190,000.
“This is not going to create wealth from the family, this is going to help them from being absolutely devastated when this is over, three people in an ICU burn unit for months on end, life flighted, there’s hefty bills coming in,” she says.
Fire officials are warning people of the dangers with propane heaters inside of RV’s.
“We have to be careful with the size and type of heating devices that are being imported into these types of vehicles,” says Hohbein.
Officials say it’s important to be aware as January is the busiest month of fatal fires. If you have questions, call your local fire department.
Hawley says the two children who were not burned, 10-year-old Kade who escaped out of a window and 6-year-old Emory who ran outside to tell her father that the heater was making a funny noise, are both living with an aunt and uncle in Idaho until they can all be reunited.