Rockford Register Star

Russell Donahue, Dave Claus

A Rockford woman and her teenage daughter were in critical condition Tuesday

night with injuries they suffered when their duplex apartment was destroyed in a

natural gas explosion.

Stephanie Turner, 17, narrowly escaped a fiery death when a neighbor and

passerby pulled her from the wreckage of the building on Eggleston Road.The

blast threw her mother, 39-year-old Nancy Turner, into the yard.

Fire officials cited the heroism of Russell Donahue, a neighbor, and Dave

Claus, who came upon the scene on his way to work. The two men lifted a beam

that had pinned Stephanie in the ruins. Seconds after she got out, fire swept the area where she had been trapped.Donahue suffered minor injuries, but Claus was not hurt.

The explosion occurred shortly before 7 a.m. The adjoining apartment had been vacant for only a week. The exact cause of the blast, which apparently occurred in the basement, was

not immediately determined.