Belleville, IL- Police detectives and the Illinois state fire marshal’s office continue their investigation into the explosion last Friday that destroyed a home in Belleville.
The explosion at 1313 Orchard St. sent Gary L. Smith to St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur, Mo., with severe burn injuries. The hospital is not releasing his condition.
Detectives with the Belleville Police Department have not released any additional information about the investigation of the explosion other than the initial determination that the explosion was caused by natural gas.
Smith’s wife, Darline Smith, and 5-year-old daughter were not injured in the explosion but have been left homeless. Their clothes and personal items, as well as their vehicles, were destroyed in the explosion.
A trust account has been set up at the Bank of Belleville at 720 W. Main St. in Belleville in Darline Smith’s name and donations will benefit Darline and her five-year-old daughter.
Because of incorrect information provided to the Belleville News-Democrat, the bank accepting monetary donations for a trust account was incorrectly identified in a story that ran in Tuesday’s News-Democrat. Neighbors are collecting donations of clothing to help Smith and her daughter and planning a block party benefit and barbecue to help the family. The date and location of the benefit party have not yet been finalized