Suntrana, AK Propane Explosion, Sep 1964



A three-year-old child was burned to death and five others were injured Sunday when a propane explosion burst their trailer into flames in Suntrana.
Dead is "TINA" HERNANDEZ who failed to escape from the basement of her family's trailer when the fire started.
Her father, EDWARD HERNANDEZ, 37, was critically burned, but he and three others escaped from the cellar where they were installing a propane tank.
Also burned was his wife, BENERANDA, 32, two HERNANDEZ children, DAVID, 5, and ARTHUR, 12, and a friend, NASH RODRIGUEZ, 33. None of these were seriously burned.
HERNANDEZ is listed in critical condition in St. Joseph's Hospital today. The others are all listed in satisfactory condition.
The incident occurred at about noon Sunday. HERNANDEZ and RODRIGUEZ were installing a propane tank in the cellar of the trailer.
State Police reported the men heard gas leaking from the tank but before the top could be tightened, the explosion occurred.
A coal furnace in the cellar is blamed for starting the conflagration.
With the help of friends and witnesses, the family escaped, but the three-year-old "TINA" was left in the cellar. She was apparently there without her parents knowing it, State Police said.
All the victims were flown to Fairbanks International Airport Sunday, then transported to St. Joseph's.
Suntrana is a mining town about 112 miles from Fairbanks on the Alaska Railroad.
All were employed by the coal mines in that area.
The trailer was destroyed.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Alaska 1964-09-28