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Resident burned in Harvard gas explosion

(Josh Peckler – jpeckler@shawmedia.com)
Harvard firefighters spray water on a house at 17615 Altenberg Road in Harvard after it caught fire Wednesday afternoon.

HARVARD – A propane gas explosion from a water heater destroyed a house Wednesday afternoon and sent an occupant to the hospital with second-degree burns.

Firefighters responded to the three-bedroom home at 17615 Altenberg Road in rural Harvard shortly before 5 p.m., Harvard Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Bryan Pierce said. The fire is under investigation, but Pierce said the cause appears to be an explosion of leaking propane gas to a water heater.

“We believe there was a propane explosion from the way the structure looked,” Pierce said.

The home, with a ground floor and a finished basement living area, is a total loss, Pierce said.

The injured occupant was taken to Centegra Hospital – Woodstock and later moved to a burn unit at another hospital. Pierce said the occupant’s injuries were not life-threatening.

No firefighters were injured.

Fire departments from McHenry, Boone and Winnebago counties in Illinois, and Walworth County, Wis., aided Harvard.


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