Reporting Michael Rosenfield
GILFORD, N.H. (CBS) – Kevin Fitzpatrick is nursing first and second degree burns to his hands, face and head after the bob house he was in on Lake Winnipesaukee exploded early Sunday morning.
Fitzpatrick, 25, and his buddy Ryan Gagne were inside after a day of ice fishing.
“Around two o’clock I woke up to Ryan yelling and panicking and freaking out,” recalls Fitzpatrick from his Manchester, NH home.
Gagne had just lit a gas heater inside the bob house, a shack used for ice fishing, when an explosion and flash fire occurred inside the shack which was at Smith Cove near Fay’s Boat Yard.
“He was just yelling that something blew up, something blew up,” says Fitzpatrick. “I couldn’t comprehend really what was going on. I was just sort of out of it.”
While Fitzpatrick is out of the hospital, Gagne is in critical condition with burns all over his body and possible damage to his lung.
“They’re lucky to be alive,” said Gagne’s father Rick in a phone interview with WBZ-TV.
Gagne had just purchased the bob house two weeks ago and this was the first time sleeping inside. When the explosion happened, Sean Mulligan heard the noise from his lakeside home. He came running out on the ice to help.
“I heard the screaming, I knew somebody needed help,” says Mulligan. “I just didn’t realize what we were going to be walking up on.”
Mulligan helped bring both men to his home and take care of them until help arrived, for which Fitzpatrick is very grateful.
“He brought us in, got us water, tried to calm us down,” says Fitzpatrick.
Prior to the explosion, the day had already gotten off to a bad start.
While setting up the bob house in the morning, Fitpatrick got smacked in the forehead and went to the emergency room for seven stitches.
Hours later, both men would be right back in the hospital. They are lucky to have survived the weekend.
“It could have been a lot worse for me and him,” says Fitzpatrick.
In a news release, Gilford Fire Chief Stephen Carrier said there are no regulations or oversight for bob house construction or use.
“Many of the bob houses on the lake have some type of heat source, and, whether it is wood or gas, if it is not used or installed correctly, it can create a hazard,” wrote Carrier.