Breckenridge Explosion, as paged

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Dec 11, 2002
BRECKENRIDGE - An explosion leveled a winter sports building on Saturday, trapping a man and leaving a dog missing.

Witnesses say they think the explosion was caused by ignited propane or natural gas at the Good Times Adventures lodge, located at 6061 Tiger Road, however the official cause is not yet known. The lodge is home to a snowmobiling and dog sledding business.

Vacationer Tim Schlis was nearby when the building exploded. He says he looked at his watch and saw it was 11:20 a.m. Right after that, he was pushed forward by a massive explosion. He turned around and saw what he says was the biggest explosion and cloud he's ever seen.

"There was a cloud going up 800 feet, 1,000 feet in the air," said Schlis. "Big hunks of plywood just flying through the air and we thought somebody had dynamited something till we started seeing insulation fly everywhere."

Schlis says he and his friends went up toward the site of the explosion.

Another car came down the hill and the person inside said they were going to call 911 because they couldn't get cell phone service.

"We went up there to see if anyone was there," said Schlis. "But we smelled natural gas so we just backed off and I went down to call 911 as well."

Schlis says when he went up near the blast, there was debris everywhere. Branches that had been blown off nearby trees were lying everywhere, he says.

According to Schlis, it took authorities about 30 minutes to respond. One man was located inside the rubble, buried up to his chest. Authorities are trying to dig him out and plan to airlift him to a hospital once he's free. His condition was not immediately known.

The building was also home to a dog sledding business and all of the dogs, except for one, have been accounted for. Their conditions were not immediately known either.

"There was a Good Times building up there and we drove there early this morning. It was all intact, and it's gone. I mean, just totally gone. It's just spread all over the woods," said Schlis.
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