Explosion levels Steuben County home

Dick Bowman sent WANE pictures of the aftermath of an explosion he said he felt four miles away.
Dick Bowman sent WANE pictures of the aftermath of an explosion he said he felt four miles away.

FREMONT, Ind. (WANE) – A homeowner was out when an explosion leveled her home Thursday. A dog, inside the house at the time, was rescued by a neighbor.

Fremont and Orland Fire Departments responded to the blast at the home on Snow Lake around 1:30 p.m.  “I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Todd Johnson, a spokesperson with the Fremont Fire Department, said.

Photo Gallery | Explosion levels home

When firefighters arrived at the 800 Block of West State Road 120, the bathtub could be seen in front of what used to be the structure.

“There was insulation, boards, lumber, anything and everything just flying through the air,” Dave Ellis, who rescued the dog, said.

Ellis owns the business next door, Dave’s Lake Shack, and said the dog belonged to Danielle Young, an employee of his.  He would hand the dog over to her later Thursday afternoon.  “She said, I’ve lost everything,” Ellis said.  “I said, you’ve got your life and you got your dog.”

Ellis said he was upstairs at his business when he heard what he thought was an explosion.

“I looked out the window and right away saw all this debris coming down,” Ellis said.  He ended up rushing over next door because he knew Young could have been home for lunch.  “I wanted to make sure she wasn’t there.”

Ellis didn’t find Young’s car, but knew she had a pet.

“I wasn’t really expecting to find anything,” he said.  “Then I saw movement on the back corner.  I reached in between the slats on the deck fence, and pulled the dog out.”

The dog was in a crate inside the house during the explosion. Ellis found the shaken dog with only had minor injuries, despite being thrown out of the home in the explosion.

Young took the dog to a nearby veterinarian for treatment.

As for the cause of the fire, Johnson said the investigation was handed over to NIPSCO officials.

“The gas lines were detached from the house, and they were broken right at the base of the residence,” Johnson said.

Fire crews arrived at the scene to a small fire.  They remained there for about two hours to assess the situation and get everything under control. Firefighters said they were grateful there was no rain or snow while they were on the scene.

“Everybody went home safe today,” Johnson said.  “That’s one thing we can be thankful for.”

Dick Bowman, who sent WANE several photos of the explosion’s aftermath, said he felt the explosion from his home, four miles away.



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