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Two NC residents escape trailer explosion caused by cigarette

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HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. — Henderson County fire officials say a Bat Cave woman and her friend narrowly escaped serious injury when they left a burning trailer before it exploded.

The Times-News of Hendersonville reported that a family member said Elizabeth Lawter awoke to find her bed on fire after a discarded cigarette caught a nearby trashcan on fire and spread to the bedding.

Fire Marshal Wally Hollis said several oxygen tanks in the trailer exploded shortly after the two occupants left Sunday morning.

Hollis said one large tank was exposed to the flames, leading to the explosion. Her mother said Lawter suffers from diabetes and chronic emphysema.

The blast threw the trailer’s roof to the edge of U.S. Highway 64 and also blew out the windows of an adjacent trailer.