🔥 The explosion was at a house in Stafford Township

🔥 A male was hospitalized with serious injuries

🔥 The cause of the explosion is under investigation

 UPDATE: This story has been updated with new details including the death of the homeowner

STAFFORD — One person was killed in a house explosion that left a gaping hole in the roof early Tuesday morning

Homeowner Kevin Thomas, 45,  was found on the front lawn of the single-story house on Neptune Drive with severe injuries to his upper torso, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer. Thomas  was taken to Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia where he later died.

Billhimer said the explosion was caused by the release of propane from a tank to an open flame in a bedroom.

Damage caused by the blast in Stafford

The explosion also caused a structure fire and blew out most of the windows in the house, according to Stafford police. Neighboring homes in the Ocean Acres neighborhood were also evacuated.

News 12 reported a dog who lived at the home escaped the house and was later found by animal control.

4th New Jersey house explosion this year

It is the fourth reported house explosion in New Jersey this year.

Five people were hospitalized when a West Milford house exploded in late September.

Earlier in the month, a Washington Township house in Gloucester County blew up as a man tried to refill a lighter.

Two children and two adults were killed in a Buena house explosion in August. Authorities found a large amount of firework-making material.

A house on Oak Avenue in Stafford was obliterated by an explosion in 2015. The cause was determined to be a leaking and cracked second gas main running parallel to a water main going into the basement utility room

House on Neptune Drive in Stafford after an explosion 10/31/23
House on Neptune Drive in Stafford after an explosion 10/31/23 (Stafford Township police)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

A list of NJ malls where you can get photos with Santa for the 2023 holiday season

The annual New Jersey tradition is back for the 2023 holiday season, along with pet photos, special events, and exclusive sensory sessions.

More details and locations will be added as the holiday season progresses, so please check back often for updates. Malls are listed in alphabetical order.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

After 83 years, beloved NJ diner abruptly forced to shutter doors

Remembering the Gateway Diner in Westville, South Jersey.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

Competitive NJ school board races fall 2023

In time for November elections, 1,804 board of education candidates have been registered around New Jersey, for a total of 1,487 open seats.

These are not evenly spread — some boards have zero candidates for an available spot, while others have more than three candidates vying for each seat. The following competitive races are based on data from the New Jersey School Board Association.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM