Snowplow hits gas meter causing explosion in Waupaca; nobody injured

Local News

WAUPACA, Wis. (WFRV)- Nobody is injured after a snowplow hit a natural gas meter causing an explosion and fire in a utility room of an apartment complex.

A series of events that stunned neighbors in the 500 block of Wisconsin Street.

“It’s really quiet around here and all of sudden you see stuff like that going on and you’re like what the heck is going on,” says Steve Rhodes who lives across the street.

On Saturday morning, a snowplow hit a natural gas meter. This led to an explosion and a small fire in the utility room of the apartment complex. Firefighters said it didn’t take them long to put out the fire.

“I think what happened and again it’s still under investigation there was a utility room there with a furnace and a water heater and again just in the early investigation and talking to We Energies they’re thinking that the gas got into that utility room and caused the explosion,” says Steve Fenske who is a captain with the Waupaca Fire Department.

Neighbors describe hearing a boom on Saturday morning when the explosion occurred. The street became filled with multiple fire departments responding to the incident.

Eight people live in the apartment complex. It’s housing for older and disabled folks. A private citizen was able to help all the residents get out of the apartment complex uninjured before the explosion occurred.

Cahoots Adult Day Service, which is on the same street, provided shelter for the people who were forced to evacuate the apartment complex. The county and the Red Cross are working to find them temporary housing.

“Immediately we upgraded it to a main response and brought in additional resources just because we didn’t know what had as far as evacuations and fire at that time,” says Fenske.

Authorities shut down the road where the incident occurred for most of the morning. Some neighbors were evacuated from the houses for a little bit for their safety.

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