Florissant, Mo. — A natural gas leak left a man in the hospital with severe burns after his home went up in flames.
The 76-year-old man barely made it out of the kitchen and to his front porch Sunday morning when a gas leak caused a fire explosion in his Florissant home. Ron Schonhoff suffered burns to his hands, right elbow and right shoulder. He’s expected to get a skin graft surgery.
Schonhoff’s son, Ron Schonhoss Jr., said his father was about to make breakfast when the house went up in flames.
“He was just getting ready to go to mass like he does every Sunday and doing whatever chores he might have had to do that day,” Ron Schonhoff Jr. said. “He was trying to turn on the gas stove, it wouldn’t work and unfortunately when it did work, the explosion happened.”
Ron Schonhoff’s typical Sunday turned into a fight for his life. He barely made it to the porch when neighbors and fire crews arrived.
“They had another fire in the stairwell, living room, another one at the stove so I go around and start putting the fires out with the two extinguishers I have,” his neighbor Justin Koester said.
Spire officials said there was a break in a brass connector attached to the stove. The company wants to warn others to make sure all appliances are up to code and running properly. Officials said the first sign of a gas leak is the smell of rotten eggs.
Ron Schonhoff said there were no warning signs and didn’t smell anything.
Ron Schonhoff said his dad has great willpower to have survived what could’ve been a deadly situation.
“I truly believe someone was watching over him,” Ron Schonhoff Jr. said.