Curtis Allen Ronning and Christine Marie Debuff were killed in a March 5 propane explosion at their Ryegate, MT home. Debuff and Ronning, owners of the Ryegate Bar and Café, smelled gas when they returned home from grocery shopping in Billings, according to KRTV.com. So, they turned off the propane supply valves, opened the windows, and went to the café while the house aired out. Not long after they returned around 9 p.m., the explosion occurred, engulfing the mobile home, located at 105 Third Ave. W., in flames.
Two neighbors who heard the blast rushed to help and were injured in their rescue attempt. Both sustained second-degree burns and had to be pulled from the burning home. They were taken to St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings. There, they received treatment and have since been released.
Golden Valley County Undersheriff Mark Olson told KRTV that many of the homes in Golden Valley County have propane-fueled furnaces and appliances. A propane leak is the suspected source of the explosion. The state fire marshal and the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agency are participating in the investigation of the explosion.