House explosion near Burksville - Republic-Times | News

House explosion near Burksville

By on September 29, 2017 at 10:51 am

Pictured is the house fire on Lemen Road on Friday morning.

The Waterloo Fire Department responded about 10:40 a.m. Friday to the report of a house explosion and structure fire in the 5300 area of Lemen Road off Kaskaskia Road near Burksville just south of Waterloo.

The house was fully engulfed upon firefighter arrival, with all occupants out of the home. The Valmeyer, Maeystown and Red Bud fire departments all responded for mutual aid and to assist with water supply. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department also provided assistance.

Monroe County EMS transported one person from the scene by ambulance. A local man performing work inside the home suffered burns in the incident. The man, identified as local plumber Dan Krebel, was initially taken to St. Anthony’s Medical Center but was transferred to the burn unit at Mercy Medical Center. A relative told the Republic-Times that Krebel sustained burns to his face, arms, hand and side. He is reported to be in stable condition.

The home belongs to Kenneth and Katrina Kloepper. According to a Facebook post by Katrina, who was out of town on vacation to celebrate her daughter’s college graduation, Kenneth was home at the time of the fire and suffered a minor injury.

“He is fine. Lost our pets,” she posted.

Waterloo Fire Chief Brett Wiegand said firefighters utilized a water source from a lake near the home and had the fire under control in a just longer than an hour.

“We learned from the homeowner that some repairs were being made and the pilot lights were being lit at the time of the explosion,” he said.

The Illinois State Fire Marshal was called in to make a report due to the damage and injuries caused by the incident.

“The house was a complete loss due to the explosion, and both people inside the home at the time were very fortunate to escape with just the injuries that they sustained,” Wiegand said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Kloepper family by Kate Crowe. To donate, click here.

“Somehow the gas line was pinched during the process and the plumber dug it up,” Crowe wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Evidently found the issue and fixed it. Then he was in the process of just lighting the pilots… first the kitchen stove and then in the basement for the water heater when it exploded!”

The Kloeppers are members of the Illinois Beekeepers. The organization collected gifts and other donations during its regularly scheduled meeting over the weekend to meet the immediate needs of the family.

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