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Family escapes as explosion, fire gut Taunton home

The building was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived.
The building was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived.(George Rizer for the boston Globe)

A family of five escaped from their Taunton home before it was destroyed by a "massive explosion" and fire early Wednesday morning, fire officials said.

The blast blew out the windows and doors of the Laneway Street home, and set the house ablaze just before 2 a.m., said Deputy Fire Chief Michael Sylvia.

Alexander Dutzmann, who lives at the home with his parents, wife, and son, said they made it out after the "massive explosion," just 15 minutes before the house went up in flames.

"At about 100-foot distance, we watched the house go down," Dutzmann said.

The family was in a section of the house on the opposite end from the location of the explosion, Sylvia said. No one was injured.

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The building was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived. "The house is a total loss," Sylvia said. "We weren't able to really save much."

Dutzmann said the family owns some horses and cats, but they were safe in a barn away from the main house.

While there are three propane tanks on the property that may have led to the explosion, the cause is under investigation, the deputy chief said.

The home is in a heavily wooded area, about 500 feet off an unpaved road. Firefighters had difficulty getting trucks up the long and narrow driveway, Sylvia said. They also had to shovel out one hydrant that was covered in snow.


Globe correspondent George Rizer contributed to this report. Aneri Pattani can be reached at aneri.pattani@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @apattani95.