Grand Lake home explosion that claimed life of local woman still under investigation; authorities await insurance report
Susan Ann McLean was killed in explosion, her husband, Mark, remains hospitalized
An investigation into a fatal house explosion that occurred in Grand Lake late last month is still ongoing as local authorities await the completion of work by insurance adjustors before finalizing their own reports.
During the early morning hours of March 24, a home located on Mad Moose Lane, west of Grand Lake, exploded resulting in the death of 67-year old Susan Ann McLean. The explosion also resulted in serious injuries to her husband, 63-year-old Mark McLean, who was transported to Swedish Medical’s burn treatment center in Englewood following the explosion.
The incident resulted in an immediate investigation by local law enforcement officials, with the assistance of special investigators from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control. That has been tentatively completed.
According to Lt. Dan Mayer, spokesperson for the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, investigators are now waiting for a final report from insurance adjustors before closing the case.
Mayer said local investigators do not have any suspicions of foul play in the case.
“It was definitely natural gas,” Mayer said. “What it looks like right now is a ruptured gas line leading from the garage they were building into the house. It built up gas and exploded.”
Mayer noted the McLeans were in the process of constructing a new garage when the explosion occurred. Authorities believe a natural gas line in the vicinity of the new construction was ruptured by the process, leading to a build-up of natural gas in the home that eventually ignited once it came in contact with a spark or open flame such as a pilot light.
Mayer said Mark McLean remains at Swedish Medical, though his condition has improved slightly and he is awake and able to communicate. Authorities have not yet released an official cause of death for Susan Ann McLean.
Mayer explained that law enforcement entities often work closely with insurance companies in these types of circumstances.
A memorial fund in the name of Ann McLean has been established by the Grand Lake Rotary. Her family will determine the use of the funds. Donations can be dropped off at the Grand Lake Center office, located at 301 Marina Drive, Grand Lake. They can also be mailed to Grand Lake Rotary, PO Box 723, Grand Lake, Colorado 80447. Checks should be made payable to Grand Lake Rotary Foundation designate for: Ann McLean Memorial Fund. Donations of $50 or more, if paid by check, will receive a tax exempt letter from the foundation.
“We look to see if it looks like foul play or something gone bad,” Mayer said. “Once we have established that it doesn’t look like that, we slow down and let them come in and do their investigation.”
The McLeans were avid Pickleball players, according to the Grand Lake Center. Mark McLean was “one of the most helpful volunteers,” the center said in its monthly newsletter. He had donated countless hours of time and work whenever asked. Susan Ann McLean helped promote the center and bring several events to Grand Lake.
“We pray for Mark’s recovery as it will be long and not easy,” they said. “(Susan) Ann will be dearly missed as she brought so much love and light whenever she went.”
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