WFTV speaks to worker who escaped propane explosion and fire



TAVARES, Fla. - With two children and one on the way Bobby Hutsenpiller, 23, said he wanted to join a big company. He said his plans for a sound financial future went up in flames when the Blue Rhino propane facility in Tavares exploded Monday night.

"It was my first day -- five hours on the job," said Hutsenpiller.

Hutsenpiller said, most likely, it was his last to work for Blue Rhino.

Hutsenpiller was one of two dozen BlueRhino workers in the blast zone Monday night.

The young father said he feared he might not make it back to his family.

"One minute there's one going off, the next the whole place is going up. I basically ran for my life," said Hutsenpiller.

Hutsenpiller said he was taking out the trash when, 100 yards away, propane tanks began blowing up. He was knocked off his feet.

"When the explosion happened, it blew me back and I fell back and landed on my hand," said Hutsenpiller.

Hutsenpiller claims the company didn't properly train him before going to work.

"[They] showed me around the place. [They] didn't show me emergency exit or fire alarms, nothing like that," said Hutsenpiller.

Attorney Matt Morgan is representing Hutsenpiller.

"Ultimately I think he'll have a claim one way or another," said Morgan. "If employees didn't have training how to put a fire out, there's going to be negligence there. If the system didn't work, that's an additional liability we'll investigate."

Blue Rhino's parent company, Farrell Gas, told WFTV on Wednesday that Hutsenpiller was given a walk-through on Friday.

"Our policy is for employees to receive on-the-job training and work with another employee for the first 72 hours on the job," the company told WFTV.

Morgan said his firm is going to closely follow OSHA's investigation into the fire and explosion to determine if a civil suit is warranted.

He said he is also in talks to represent other victims of Monday's blast.