Propane Leak Believed To Be A Factor
The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department has concluded that one person was killed in the Thursday morning explosion in the Town of Wescott.
“We were able to determine that there was one female in the residence at the time of the explosion and we found her deceased inside the home.”
Shawano County Detective Gordon Kowalski says there were able to make contact with one of the homeowners, who was out of town and not home at the time of the explosion.
The cause of the explosion has not been confirmed, but the belief is that propane was involved.
“We believe the initial cause of the explosion is propane related with some sort of leak, but that has not been confirmed yet” Sheriff Bieber said. “The state fire marshal is on scene and conducting the investigation.” Bieber said the State Department of Criminal Investigation was also called out to the scene.
Bieber adds that the investigation has been a very tedious process since emergency crews arrived at around 5 a.m. Thursday morning.
“It’s a very large scene,” Bieber explained. “There’s debris spread throughout the property and it’s a very slow process and tedious because we don’t want to overlook anything.”
Nearby residents reported hearing a loud explosion just before 5am.
“My husband and I woke up to a loud explosion and it shook our entire house” explained Chris Marks, who lives nearby. “It was really crazy.”
Other comments started to flood social media with many saying their heard the explosion, and were curious as to what could cause that type of boom. One neighbor said she saw a ball of fire go above the trees and heard a loud boom. Some reported hearing it from miles away. Sheriff Bieber said he is not surprised that so many people were affected.
“The magnitude of the is explosion was significant and is something unlike we have ever seen before “Bieber said. “We have detectives that have worked in this department for over 30 years and they have never seen anything like this. We have nothing to compare it to, Bieber said.
Sheriff Bieber said they will continue work on scene today and tomorrow if necessary. “We want to get it all cleaned up and safe for people to be here. There’s down power lines, there’s glass everywhere, nails, boards, splintered wood. There’s still debris in the trees that is falling out of the trees, making it dangerous for our firefighters and deputies on scene.”
Photos below show debris that was found a distance from the home.