Porter, TX – The Montgomery County Fire Marshal is urging residents check for gas leaks after a kitchen explosion Monday evening in Porter sent three, including a toddler, to the hospital with up to second-degree burns.

A 46-year-old woman, a 16-year-old girl and a 16-month-old baby received first- and second-degree burns in the explosion in the 19300 block of Riverwalk Drive. The three were sent to Memorial Hermann at the Texas Medical Center and are expected to survive, said Fire Marshal Jimmy Williams.

“With this situation we’re fortunate no one was more severely injured and no one was killed,” Williams said.

Though the incident remains under investigation, Williams said the patio kitchen explosion appears to have likely occurred due to an accidental ignition from a propane gas buildup while people were cooking in the back yard area.

As heating and holiday cooking seasons take off, Williams is pointing to steps residents using natural gas or propane gas can take to either address leaks or ensure they have none.

If a resident picks up on the distinctive odors of either propane or natural gas, Williams said they need to turn off the source. They should call their gas company and contact a licensed plumber to do a leak test that can be completed in a few minutes, he continued.

Williams recommends those who have not done a leak check in years should do so. He explained people should be alerted if they find themselves filling up their gas tank more often than usual for this time of year.

“That’s a sign that you might have a leak,” he said.

Propane is more prevalent in rural parts like Porter, but its use is also seen in majorly developed areas of Montgomery County, Williams explained.

Propane “delivers a lot of heat for the amount of gas. The only problem is that if it escapes in an area where it can find an ignition source, then there could be an accident” like with the Porter kitchen explosion, Williams said.

But ultimately, people should mind natural gas system leaks in their homes as much as they would propane gas leaks as they can be just as destructive, he pointed out.

Additionally, residents using any gas-powered home appliances should purchase a carbon monoxide detector, Williams said.

“Carbon monoxide can be deadly,” he said of the odorless gas.