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Father, baby narrowly escape propane grill explosion in downtown Indy

Indianapolis firefighters said this incident should serve as a reminder for people to check their equipment before firing up their grills.

INDIANAPOLIS — A father and his baby daughter had a close call on Monday when their grill exploded, catching fire to their porch and melting the baby's nearby swing just minutes after the father grabbed the child and ran to safety. 

The Indianapolis Fire Department said it's unclear what exactly caused the 2-year-old grill and brand new propane tank to burst apart. 

According to IFD, the family had recently changed out the propane tank, but had not used it since replacing it on Sunday. The homeowner said he turned the grill on and went to light it. He said this is when “the grill blew up in my face,” sending debris everywhere.

Credit: Indianapolis Fire Department
The family had recently changed out the propane tank but had not used it since replacing it on Sunday. The father told firefighters he turned the grill on and went to light it. He said this is when “the grill blew up in my face” sending debris everywhere.

He grabbed his 7-month-old daughter who was nearby on a porch swing about six feet away and took her to safety.

IFD said the explosion, fire, and heat melted the swing within minutes. 

Credit: Indianapolis Fire Department
A 7-month-old's swing melted just minutes after her father pulled her out and ran to safety.

IFD firefighters arrived on what they thought was an EMS run and found a house fire instead. They aggressively battled the blaze and were able to contain the fire to the back porch, saving the home from further damage.

Credit: Indianapolis Fire Department
A father and his baby daughter are extremely thankful to have escaped serious injury after his grill exploded and caught fire late this afternoon.

Medics checked father and child, and no serious injuries were reported. The father was taken to a local hospital to be treated for slight injures and the daughter was checked at the scene and released back to her mother. 

The exact cause of the explosion is unknown.

Memorial Day traditionally marks the beginning of grilling season. But Indianapolis firefighters said this incident should serve as a reminder for people to check their equipment before firing up their grills. 

“It's just a good opportunity to remind everybody that as you are going to be using your grills more often now the weather is getting better, just make sure you take time to make sure your grill is in proper working order. Ensure it is in a well-ventilated area, it has a three-foot perimeter for combustibles and make sure it’s actually away from your house,” said IFD Battalion Chief Rita Reith.

If using a charcoal grill, allow the briquets and ashes to completely cool in the metal container before removing them for trash.  Do not put them in a paper bag or plastic container until they are well cooled and better yet, doused with copious amounts of water. 

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