WI – Zac Schultz, Madison.Com – Fall River: The explosion happened just after 5 am and surrounding neighbors were in various stages of their morning routine.
“I was getting ready for work,” says neighbor Wally Camp. “I was putting on my boots and then all of a sudden a big blast. Everything shook, the plates came off the wall.”
Some immediately thought of thunder and lightning. “I jumped up. I thought my house got struck by lightning,” says neighbor James Mobry.
The home was literally blown away. “I go to look out to see where it hit and the house is gone,” says Camp.
The owners were on vacation, but it took detectives a couple tense hours to confirm that. “We actually got a hold of their daughter from a cell bill found in the debris field here. We were able to get a hold of somebody and confirm that no one was home,” says Lt. Wayne Smith of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department.
After the owners rushed home they spent a long time surveying the damage.
Only a small corner of the foundation of the home still stands. The blast was so strong it blew out windows in all of the surrounding homes, and even blew the home across the street two inches off its foundation.
“The shockwave went into the garage and knocked all the doors off their hinges. It actually took a 2×4 wall and shoved it off the concrete form,” says Camp of the damage to his home.
The Sheriff’s Department says the incident was likely a gas vapor explosion, probably caused by a leak in the liquid propane tank.
The cause of ignition is not known.