A gas grill explosion that triggered a ball of flame that could be seen a half-mile away destroyed an umbrella and related barbecue gear in Corte Madera on Sunday night, but hurt no one.
A resident on Oakdale Avenue thought he turned off the outdoor commercial-sized grill before departing, but apparently did not, allowing gas to build up, then ignite at about 7:20 p.m.
Police more than a half mile away saw the flash of light as the barbecue exploded, propelling the grill cover into the air and starting several small fires on a patio, said Corte Madera fire Capt. Dan Reese. Residents were not outside at the time.
"We had three or four reports of a blast," Reese said, noting area residents were alarmed.
Damage was estimated at about $500.