2021 | Police & Fire

UPDATED: Three injured in propane explosion at Laytonsville landscaping center

One flown to hospital by helicopter; another taken by vehicle

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Photo from Jason Blake via Twitter

This story was updated at 6:53 p.m. on Sept. 7, 2021, to include additional details about the explosion

A propane explosion at a landscaping center in Laytonsville Tuesday morning injured three people, including one taken to a hospital by helicopter, a Montgomery County Fire & Rescue spokesman said.

The explosion happened in a building at 23601 Laytonsville Road around 7:45 a.m., Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Jason Blake told Bethesda Beat on Tuesday. The building is a house where the business Ruppert Landscape operates.

Three people were treated for injuries, two of whom were taken to the hospital, Blake said. One person had “significant injuries” and was taken by helicopter, while the other patient was taken by vehicle, he said. The third person was not taken to a hospital.

One of the victims was a Ruppert employee rescued from the basement of the building, Blake said. The employee has orthopedic injuries and will undergo surgery, he said.

Blake said Tuesday evening that firefighters determined that the explosion was propane-related.

“We’re not sure what caused it to ignite, but that is the source of the gas,” he said.

The next step is for Ruppert to have its insurance company determine a more specific cause of the fire, Blake said.

A representative from Ruppert Landscape did not immediately respond to a voice mail seeking comment. However, the company posted a message on its website stating that one building was severely damaged in the explosion and “further structural analysis will be necessary to determine a path forward.”

“We are so grateful that no lives were lost today, and we are praying for the recovery of those injured,” CEO Craig Ruppert said in the statement. “Keeping our team safe is always first and foremost in our mind, but an incident like this is just something you never think will happen. We are just incredibly grateful for the quick response of so many here today, and we ask that you keep our team in your thoughts and prayers.”

The business is in an area of northern Montgomery County near the municipal landing strip Davis Airport.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com