Harrison Residents Recount Home Explosion, Calumet Sheriff’s Department Investigates Cause

Local News

It’s a story Local 5 followed all day, a house explosion in the town of Harrison that caused the entire street to be evacuated is under investigation.

The explosion happened a little after 8:00 Wednesday morning.

Many homes are now uninhabitable and several families are finding other living arrangements until the area is deemed safe.

One house was obliterated and two adjacent houses saw major damage after the explosion.

Officials have not determined a cause, but it may be some time before some of those community members will be allowed to return home.

Some residents thought the catalyst that led to this scene was like something straight from a movie.

“I thought a plane crashed,” says Harrison resident Sharon Ziegelbauer. “I saw the smoke and I heard a boom and the house shook, everything fell off my windows and my doors, all the ornaments and stuff.”

Others were more certain of what they had heard.

“Immediately I knew it was not thunder,” says Harrison resident Stephen Alt. “It sounded like an explosion, very loud.”

Fire lanes 12 and 13 were evacuated, but many homes suffered little damage.

Jenny Hoffman’s home didn’t fair so well.

She’ll be staying with her sister’s family in Grand Chute until she can return.

“The building inspector went in the house and said we can’t live there for a while until the electricity gets checked,” says Hoffman. “He said you have to hire an electrician to go through every room of the house to make sure it’s safe.”

Her home like some others were physically moved because of the explosion.

“My house is cinder block so it was pretty sturdy,” she says. “We had 11 windows break in the house. The garage looks a little off kilter too. And our garage across the street also is off the foundation a little bit.”

Two females in a neighboring home were taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

“We’re lucky that no one was at that residence,” says Lt. Mark Wiegert, with the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department. “Lucky a lot of people had gone to work.”

While no life was lost some will have to work to rebuild.

And they’re planning to be home soon.

“Hopefully everything works out,” says Hoffman. “Everything happens for plan.”

The Red Cross was present to help people find a place to stay tonight.

So far the investigation into what caused the explosion is being led by the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department and the Harrison Fire Department.

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