Master Plumber Dies From Burns in Home Explosion

Master Plumber Dies From Burns in Home Explosion
Roger Charpentier Jr.

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A Massachusetts plumber died Sunday from burns sustained in a home explosion last week. Roger Charpentier Jr., 68, was installing a propane-fueled furnace when the pilot light from a hot water heater ignited fumes.

Charpentier, a master plumber, attempted to extinguish the fire before fleeing the home. He sustained burns over much of his body. No one else was in the building at the time of the blast.

The explosion lifted the house 6 to 12 inches off the foundation, according to investigators.

A Vietnam veteran, Charpentier was a member of the Massachusetts Plumbing Inspectors. He enjoyed working on cars, skiing, hiking, biking, woodworking and even mowing his field, but most of all his family and friends. The self-employed plumber said he loved his work and would never retire.

Charpentier is survived by his wife, Denise, sons Joseph and Marc and daughter Marie Oprica. Services are scheduled for Thursday.

Plumbers injured when gas line, tanks explode

In June, two plumbers in Washington sustained severe burns when a natural gas line exploded while they were soldering a nearby water main. Flames shot 6 to 8 feet into the air, triggering a sprinkler system, which helped contain the blaze.

Kevin Tronsdal, 45, and Brandon Springer, 36, were able to crawl out of the hole as co-workers doused the men with water. Springer has burns over half his body.

The explosion occurred in front of a vacant commercial building under renovation.

In Wesley Hills, New York, a plumber was burned on the face and arms in June when propane and acetylene tanks in his van exploded. The plumber heard a hissing sound and opened the rear door when the tanks exploded. His burns were not considered life threatening.


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