Auburn woman critical following explosion

AUBURN – An Auburn woman remains in critical condition following an explosion and fire earlier this week.

According to media outlets, Etta Spencer of Auburn was life-flighted to Pittsburgh after a propane tank explosion caught her house on fire. The accident happened around 12:45 a.m. Tuesday at the old Auburn Grade School, which had been converted into a home.

Neighbors told media outlets Spencer got out of her house following what is believed to be a propane tank explosion, that caught the house on fire.

The Hur Herald reported Spencer went back into the residence believing her son was in the structure. The son was at a neighbor’s house. Two other people were able to make it out safely.

Media outlets reported flames had overtaken the home by the time crews from the Harrisville and Pennsboro fire departments arrived.

Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Dana Nutt refused to comment. He referred the matter to the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office, which did not return a message. A phone message left for the chief of the Pennsboro Volunteer Fire Department also was not returned.

Messages left for James White, director of Emergency Services for Ritchie County, also were not returned.

Spencer was taken to the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh. She is listed in critical condition.