PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Pender County Emergency Director Tom Collins confirms Gerald "Jerry" David Stomski, 59, died months after a structure fire at his home in Hampstead.
Pender county crews responded to a fire in the garage of a home at 31 Twin Oaks Drive Friday, March 27.
Collins said Stomski had been working on a lawn mower in the garage with the garage door closed. He said there was a gas leak leading to an explosion. Stomski was inside the garage at the time and was burned. He was taken to the Burn Center in Chapel Hill, where he passed away May 31.
Collins said investigators are unsure what sparked the explosion, but believe it was accidental. He said someone passing by saw the smoke, then Stomski lying in the drive way.
There was fire damage in the garage and smoke damage in the home.
Collins estimates the damage to be around $30,000.
Stomski was a former resident of Woodbury, Connecticut and was elected First Selectman in 2009 and 2011. According to town officials, Stomski resigned so he could move to North Carolina to be closer to his family.
Stomski leaves behind his wife, Joan, and three daughters and a son, town officials say.