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Couple hospitalized after camper explodes in Onondaga County

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  • Staff Report 

State Police responded to a camper explosion at 1335 West Valley Rd in Spafford on September 25, 2023, at 10:54 a.m., after receiving a distress call from Onondaga County 911.


Upon arrival, police discovered a Northern Lite camper, mounted on a Chevy Silverado 2500, that had been blown apart. Spafford Fire Department personnel were on the scene, clearing debris from the rear of the camper to reach 74-year-old Barbara J Hamlin, who was trapped inside, conscious with a visible left ankle fracture.

Her husband, Robert M. Hamlin Jr., 75, was found with visible burn injuries to his face. Mr. Hamlin stated that the explosion occurred due to open propane tanks attached to the camper, suspecting the stove inside may have also been left on. He was outside when the camper exploded, knocking him to the ground, while his wife, who was inside, likely turned on the stove, triggering the blast. The incident caused substantial damage to the camper and surrounding areas, including the exterior of a nearby house.

Both Barbara and Robert were transported to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, suffering non-life-threatening injuries. State Police were aided by the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office and the Spafford Fire Department in managing the scene.