Man in Draper house explosion has died, hospital officials say

By Marcos Ortiz

Published 07/25 2014 07:35AM

Updated 07/26 2014 07:57AM

University of Utah Health Care officials confirmed Saturday that the man in the house explosion died late Friday evening from injuries sustained in the house fire.

The man was identified as 40-year-old Paul Broadhurst. Ryan Dickson, Broadhurst's brother released the following statement:

"Our family is grateful to emergency medical personnel and health care providers who assisted Paul on Friday. We ask for privacy as we grieve the loss of our family member."

DRAPER, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - An explosion caused a large house fire Friday morning.
It happened at 15082 South Junction Circle in Draper.

Neighbors say the explosion was similar to a sonic boom.

"I'm standing on the front door, boom," says Rusty Lugo who lives across the street.

And within seconds, the house on South Junction Circle in Draper was on fire.

Neighbors watched in disbelief.
Bob Tennent was outside laying sod when he heard the explosion.

"I felt this sensation and I looked up and one end of the house is going up in flames and within seconds it moves into one end of the garage," says Tennent. "The door flew out. I could see his ridge line starting to explode and going up in flames. The fire in front of me was just going crazy."

As the fire burned, neighbors moved in closer, concerned for those inside.

"I saw the guy stumbled through the back door and kind of rolled out," says Deven Miner.

She lives behind the burning house. Miner says glass from the burning house was hitting her window. Out on her yard were many items like toys and other material belonging to the burning house that had landed on her back yard.
Denise Cassidy was visiting Miner and says she too saw the man come out of the house.

"He looked distraught, confused and dazed," she says. "His hands were real red."

The house was still burning and fire crews had yet to arrive. But three men jumped into the homeowner's back yard to rescue him.

"The first thing I asked him is if there was anyone else in the home," recalls Scott Baskett. "He was semi-coherent and replied 'no.'"

The men looked for injuries and soon realized he had been badly burned around his arms.

"He had a little bit of clothing around his waist and crotch area and his neck," says Dave Politis. "(There was) some blood on his face, fingers were bleeding but not seriously."

They managed to get him on his feet and drag him to safety. Their heroic effort happened while the house was heavily engulfed in flames.

"There was a lot of fire and we could hear the house moving and secondary explosions happening in the home," says Baskett. "I felt we could maintain our distance enough in case there was another explosion."

At least two homes to the north of the house sustained damage. Most of it was from the heat of the fire. Jim Banford's home is next to the burning home.

"There was a tremendous worry," says Banford. "That's what I was concerned about. We could see the fire had destroyed our fence and it was approaching our house."

But fire crews arrived in time. Still Banford feels very lucky.

"I feel very grateful," he says.

Meanwhile fire investigators continue to search for the cause of the fire. One police officer called the house a "crime scene." But he wouldn't say if the fire was an accident or it's considered a suspicious fire.

A family spokesperson says the home belongs to Sara and Paul Broadhurst. She says Paul remains hospitalized with 95% of his body burned "beyond recognition," according to the spokesperson. She says Paul is on life support. She says Sara and the two children are out of town and the wife will release more information Saturday.
The spokesperson says a catastrophe fund has been set up at any Wells Fargo Bank under the name of Sara Broadhurst.

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