Former Santana vocalist and Christian music pioneer Leon Patillo and his wife Renee narrowly escaped serious injury on Monday night when the 36′ RV they were traveling in exploded in Barstow, California. The Patillo’s were driving down the road following weekend concert appearances in California when there was a large explosion and smoke and flames erupted from the front air conditioning unit. Before Leon could pull off the road, the entire front of the RV was engulfed in flames.
As they scrambled to get out, none of the doors would open as the fire damaged the electical system enough that the power locks were no longer operational. With flames in the front cabin, Renee finally managed to get her door open, but Leon was not able to climb over the center console due to the fire. He finally managed to break a small window and crawl out, and they began to run knowing that there were several bottles of propane on board. They managed to run about 100 yards before hearing a large explosion, and the RV burned to nothing but a frame.
“Leon incurred scratches on his back from trying to go through the driver’s window, and I have a few cuts on my fingers and some under my feet from not having any shoes,” says Renee. “We did not have any burns. We inhaled a lot of smoke but we are okay now.”
The fire destroyed Leon’s keyboards, MP3 player and merchandise, as well as their clothing and luggage, cellular phones, personal effects, and the money they had received from love offerings at concert appearances over the weekend.
“We are still in a little state of shock but God is giving us peace,” says Renee. They are currently recuperating at their home in Las Vegas.
Leon Patillo’s latest CD Live Experience 2 was released in August through Nashville-based TAG Artist Group, home to such artists as Phil Keaggy, Bryan Duncan, Bruce Carroll, Chuckie Perez, Chronos, Steve Archer, Anthony Burger, Substance, Kent Bottenfield and Joy Oliver.
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