Maryville man injured when baseboard heater explodes
By Iva Butler | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A Maryville man’s ankle was shattered Wednesday when a baseboard heater exploded in his shop, tossing him across the room.
Roger Teal, 47, wound up having surgery on his ankle at Blount Memorial Hospital. The orthopedist said it “was the worst ankle surgery he had ever had to do. Normally the ankle breaks, but this blew up and parts of my ankle were missing,” Teal said from his hospital room Thursday.
He said it will be at least six months before he will know if he can walk on the ankle. He said a lot of therapy and possibly a second surgery lie ahead for him.
Heater bought at Habitat ReStore
Teal said he purchased the 7-foot-long electric baseboard heater Wednesday at the Habitat ReStore in Maryville.
He has a shop behind his home on Buchanan Road off West Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville and planned to use the heater to keep warm when he was working.
The blast threw twisted pieces of the heater all over the shop.
The blast knocked a go-cart off a jack stand and a side off a piece of furniture, said Stacy Lewis, of Maryville, who is Teal’s fiancee.
“He told me ‘your Tiffany lamp flea market find is no more,’” she said. “I told him a lamp can be replaced.”
Teal described the accident with the heater, which occurred at 6:36 p.m.
‘Like a bomb’
“I was just checking to see if it worked. It worked good and I was ready to unplug it when it went kaboom and exploded. It was just like a bomb. I never heard anything so loud,” Teal recalled. “It knocked me across the room.
“The whole room just filled with smoke and flying debris. I just started crawling toward the door and immediately called 911. I knew if I passed out nobody would know I was there,” he said.
He was able to call Lewis, but was unconscious when the ambulance arrived, she said. “The impact disintegrated the bone in his right ankle,” Lewis said. “His right arm is swollen and bruised and he has lacerations on his head.”
Baseboard heaters are electric heaters that are filled with water. They can be portable or stationary.