On September 25, 2023, at 10:54 a.m., State Police in Lafayette were dispatched by Onondaga County 911 to 1335 West Valley Rd in the town of Spafford for an explosion.
When Troopers arrived, they located a Chevy Silverado 2500 with a Northern Lite camper in its bed which was blown apart. Members of Spafford Fire were on scene attempting to clear out the back of the camper where a female later identified as 74-year-old Barbara J Hamlin was inside under debris. Troopers assisted the Spafford Fire in clearing out the back of the camper to gain access to Mrs. Hamlin where she was conscious and had a visible left ankle fracture.
Troopers interviewed Robert M. Hamlin Jr., age 75 who also had visible burn injuries to his face from the explosion. He advised they accidently left their propane tanks open which were attached to the camper. The stove inside the camper may have been left on as he smelled propane this morning. He explained his wife, Barbara, went inside the camper, and must have turned on the stove causing the explosion. Mr. Hamlin was standing outside the camper when it exploded and was knocked to the ground.
There was significant damage to the camper and surrounding area including damage to the exterior of the house.
Both Robert and Barbara were transported by ambulance to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse with non-life-threatening injuries.
State Police were assisted at the scene by the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office and the Spafford Fire Department.