A father is mourning the death of his grown son Sunday morning, following an explosion in the backyard shed of their Union Beach home in the middle of the night.
Christopher Curtis Sr. said his son, Paul Curtis, a 52-year old former Marine, died in the incident, which is currently under investigation by the Monmouth County Fire Marshal. The family lives at 509 Stone Road, just two doors away from Borough Hall.
Christopher Curtis Sr. said he was asleep on the recliner in his house when he was awakened by a loud noise in the night.
"I heard that thump. So I got up out of the thing and when I looked behind me -- I had the shades down -- and they were orange," he said. He knew his son liked to sit on the back deck at night, and he immediately feared the deck was on fire, he said.
"I pulled the door open, and it wasn't the deck, it was the shed over there. And I didn't see him, so I hollered, 'Paul, Paul, where are ya, Paul!' And then I looked and he was -- flames all over, and could see him laying in front of the deck, in front of the shed, on the ground. He wasn't on fire. I think the explosion hit him and singed him," said Curtis.